Accounting for the KMN Hinnøy during BALTOPS22
The only "Alta-class" equivalent vessel present in the Baltic Sea during BALTOPS22 was the KMN Hinnøy, which can now be accounted for using AIS data and satellite imagery.
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As Seymour Hersh insists an “Alta-class” was used, it was necessary to fully explore the possibility of the Oksøy-class KMN Hinnøy being responsible. This vessel can now be accounted for during its time at BALTOPS22 using a combination of AIS data and satellite imagery.
The KNM Hinnøy took part in BALTOPS22. Its AIS tracks for the period of the exercise though show that the KNM Hinnøy was never in immediate vicinity of the sites of the Nord Stream pipeline explosions. The long track without course changes next to the two NS1 leaks is consistent with the ships reported speed. There are 62 minutes and 8.6 nautical miles between the two course changes. The tracks are also very consistent with no periods where the ship is “out of contact”. No evidence of any abnormal AIS activity or “spoofing”.
Available satellite imagery has been able to corroborate parts of the KNM Hinnøys AIS track, which further reduces the chance that there has been any “spoofing”. At 6 locations during the BALTOPS22 exercise, a ship matching the dimensions of the KNM Hinnøy was pictured by satellite imagery in the exact location where AIS data showed the KNM Hinnøy was. There is no evidence that “spoofing” of the AIS data was used at any time during BALTOPS22.
The distance between the two KNM Hinnøy AIS course changes by the Nord Stream 1 leaks is 8.6 nautical miles, the time between the points is 62 minutes. A trip out over the two leak locations would and down to the next AIS course change would be 17.1 nautical miles, which would need to be covered in 62 minutes, including the dive times.
At this time the KNM Hinnøy was traveling in formation with 3 other NATO warships and 1 non-NATO warship, the Estonian EML Sakala (M314), the Finnish MHC Purunpää, the Swedish HSwMS Vinga (M75) and the Dutch HNMLS Willemstad. These ships likely would have noticed if the KMN Hinnøy had shut off AIS and then left the formation at full speed towards the location the Nord Stream 1 leaks.
The KMN Hinnøy remained in the same formation with the other NATO ships as it passed the location of the Nord Stream 2 leak. Here the Hinnøy would have only had 29 minutes to sail 20 nautical miles, including dive times, in order to return to the location of the next AIS course changes.
On 14th June the KMN Hinnøy spent some time approximately 9 nautical miles north of the Nord Stream 2 leak as part of the exercise. Again the KMN Hinnøy spent the entire time in close proximity to the other vessels that were part of the exercise.