German media has reported that the Russian controlled ‘Navi-Sailor 4100’ has been installed on at least 100 vessels operated by Germany’s military, including the submarine fleet

Bild reports here that in 2005, under Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, around one hundred vehicles, including aval platforms, were equipped with new navigation systems from Russian company Transas.

“Even later, the government decided in favor of Transas and, according to BILD am SONNTAG information, installed the ‘Navi Sailor 4100’ (navigation device for position, speed, route) in modern German submarines”, said the report.

The report adds that in the summer of 2020, the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution warned that maritime navigation systems would open up “attack vectors for espionage and sabotage by foreign states”.

“Transas was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990 and is active in both the civil and military sectors: Transas equipped the Russian fleet with combat simulators and received an award from the Chief of the Russian General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov.In 2018 the company was bought by the Finnish company Wartsila, but the armaments division remained in Russian hands. 

Former Transas engineers are now developing combat drones for the Russian military. Because of its close ties to the Russian security apparatus, this part of Transas is in the focus of Western intelligence services, according to security experts.”

In the event of a cyber attack, navigation data could be tapped and manipulated, “in the worst case up to the complete loss of functionality” of the ship.

You can read more here.

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John Clark

You couldn’t make it up, not that it makes any real difference, the Germans don’t have faintest intention of ever fighting anyone….


Except the UK it seems…..we’re evil….because of a democratic Brexit vote…..and because we wrote a good vaccine contract….


So true, the EU tried to strong arm the vaccine producing companies once the vaccine was proved to be viable. They did not invest early and take that financial risk that the UK did, and they are now trying to take control.


UK should never have gotten into the EU in the first place. At least they woke up and got out. America is going in the opposite direction with the election of China Joe and Socialist Harris. Ugh




I don’t think that will be the main point of concern. What if one of these subs was working with another NATO sub in a hostile environment?

Supportive Bloke

I had to read this several times to make sure that my morning coffee was working. Unbelievable doesn’t cover it. Parody maybe? It is like something out of a Bond film sendup (maybe an amalgam of Tomorrow Never Dies and The Spy Who Loved Me?) so I can only quote the late, great Sir Sean ‘shocking: absolutely shocking’… You might as well leave the civvy navigation transponders on when going to war or just email your plans straight to @Kremlin. Who is going to want a German ship or sub anywhere near them now when that lack of basic digital… Read more »

Nick C

I’m reminded of that Danish politician in the 1970’s who reckoned that the best way to save on the defence budget was to buy a very large radio transmitter which would broadcast “we surrender” in Russian as soon as hostilities started. Other than the operators everyone else could be made redundant!


This is being blown out of all proportion, almost the entire German navy is sitting alongside in port so the Russian’s having access to their navigation systems make no difference at all.


Shocker, the Anti-German posts anti-german bollocks.

David Flandry

I thought the headline was a trick. This is crazy.


Decisions like this, alongside continued German state reliance on Russian oil and gas imports and German reluctance to spend anything but the bare minimum on defence do strike me as a bit odd. I mean I was under the impression Russia was still a threat to Central European states. Isn’t that why NATO spends so much on preparing for a possible conflict there. Isn’t that one of the reasons Russia is under sanctions ? You could almost believe that Germany has no intention of going as far as open conflict with the Russian Federation under any circumstances.

John Clark

Very true, I have grave doubts the Germans will engage any aggressor to NATO, unless they face a direct threat to Germany.

Unreliable partners….

Douglas Newell

Not sure a Germany keen to use their military externally is a good thing!

David Flandry

Well I wouldn’t worry then. They aren’t keen to use their military in any way.

Harry Bulpit

Germany is an increasingly reluctant partner of NATO. 1st due to Germans history there is a strong anti military sentiment within the country, 2nd NATO can be seen as a opponent of Germany’s idea for a United Europe specifically interms of defence and 3rd dont forget during much of its existence NATO was the “bad guy” for half of Germany.

Stand off Rocket Man

Germany will be the cause of WW3!
Who’d have thought?


The article states 2005 but not clear this oversight has been rectified othewise brainfart!
Do other TKMS epxport subs suffer same issue or just German navy’s? This thing could turn out to be a can of warms
If German defense is so braindead that they cannot do basic due diligence, one has to wonder what other trojans are out there in their other services, and products they export

Last edited 5 days ago by Lordtemplar
Geoffrey Roach

Good film this. Russian agents fit secret spy system on German U boats to sabotage NATO . Will Matt discover the truth in time?….Except they were bought on the open market from a commercial company. Bizarre.

Nigel Collins

They’re already active!

German charged with spying for Russian military intelligence

Peter S

Aren’t all satellite dependent navigation systems vulnerable to hacking? There have been a number of successful hacks in recent years. If you want to be 100% secure, it’s back to paper charts and dead reckoning.


What rely on human intelligence and skill? Do away with the computers?

People forget that the first navigators to circumnavigate the globe didn’t even have charts!!! There be dragons…

Although to be fair in RN at least it is still a requirement that junior officers spend an hour with the ships captain taking sighting with a sextant and have to plot their position which is then compared to GPS.

Cheers CR


I could be making this up but I thought I read on here somewhere, that the UK had developed a GPS alternative that did not rely on satellites for it’s subs.

Levi Goldsteinberg

No you’re absolutely correct, ICL I believe it was have made the world’s first functioning quantum compass:,or%20any%20other%20external%20reference.

Andy a

Believe it’s along way off ready yet!!


Whilst I agree that this is bonkers I would point out that GPS might not be so useful to a submarine once it is clear of harbour and submerged. I do not think the GPS signal will penerate the sea to any real depth and any sub that sticks it periscope or GPS antenna above the surface in a warzone may well to regret it.

The surface fleet is another matter. What were they thinking?

Cheers CR


Too true fella, that’s we once dived SMs have SINS for navigation, and check it when it goes to PD to update a GPS fix.


What are the consequences of this for NATO and Germany’s membership?

If Turkey were prevented from having the F35 because of their adoption of the S-400 then what of Germany if their navigation system can be tracked/manipulated?

Daniele Mandelli

None. Espionage and incompetence are not a German preserve!

Supportive Bloke

That needs to be translated into proper eurowaffle.

“Digital incontinence and exposure of obvious espionage vulnerabilities are not specifically German competences”


Daniele Mandelli

Well said that man… incontinence, sounds painful!!!


At least they have not linked their digital incontinence with nuclear reactors…..

Order of the Ditch

I don’t think this is actually a big deal. All of the Merchant ships I have worked on have used Transas Sailor systems. None of them were ever connected to the internet so do to something mischievous to the system direct physical access was required. At the end of the day it is a couple of WIndows or LInux machines running a fairly simple program that displays raster and vector charts with an input feed from GPS and gyro etc. Out of all the systems I have used this was my favorite, much better than the ancient rubbish by JRC

Tim uk

Always remember that Germany has never shed blood fighting for freedom. As for now , 51% or German car production happens in ………… Chiiiiina.They are supplicant to China hence why they forced thru the EU / China trade desl against the wishes or their EU partners and the USA. Nord 2 makes them supplcant to Putin. Merkel has also wrecked the military while importing a million syrians again with zero respect for her fellow EU partners. Germany is not on the side of Nato they are slaves to their car manufacturing machine ( Musk just drove a panzer thru )… Read more »


Merkel is in Putin’s back pocket. If you doubt that just look at all the gas contracts Merkel made with Putin and now this crap. Ugh

Paul T
Nigel Collins

I wonder what sat-nav these will have onboard, Russian or Chinese? ?

Germany and Norway agree with TKMS on U212CD submarine project


Will the German people never get rid of Merkel?????


FFS when are the liberal democracies going to wake up and realise neoliberal “the market rules all” is just a great gaping hole that our opponents are driving great big Mercantile buses through….look we will sell you this soo much cheaper than your own workers….close that company down and order from us….
… save a few shiny pounds and pay use. We have so many ships that need building and we promise not to us the inbuilt back door honest.


Thats a really stupid thing to do, buy as Germany is effectively dependent on Russia for energy it’s really academic ( modern countries done work without energy and end up starving hungry and with utilities in short orders). Can I just point out that we, being the paragons of western virtue are fighting the good fight by: 1) asking China if they would like to many be help build all our new nuclear reactors ( cuts down on China’s need for a nuclear deterrent I suppose). 2)Asking China to build our 5G networks….it only you know…..will be running everything…..but at… Read more »

Jan van der Werk

Can Germany ever be taken as a serious military? The old West German Forces were. Now?

Chris Jones

So is this as absolutely insane as it sounds or am I missing something?


Been doing some background checking as, well, I did look to make sure its no April fools trick. It’s not. It is being reported in Germany that the Type 212A has the Navi-Sailor 4100 as well as surface ships. Photos were published in Germany shown the screen shot of the system onboard Brandenburg. My next question is if the Type 212A in Germany does that mean the Italian Todaro class subs also have the system as they are Italian built T 212As or for that matter the export Type 214 subs? If that situation is not bad enough a German… Read more »