Well well well. The Soviet, er, Russian Navy is back to it’s old games, and trying to track down a Royal Navy Boomer. No one should be surprised by this, especially with Putin as the new Czar for life. The Russians have been going full steam ahead trying to modernize their fleet of both Fast Attack submarines and Boomers, even to developing a new SLBM to equip their new SSBN class.
From the UK’s Telegraph:
A specially upgraded Russian Akula class submarine has been caught trying to record the acoustic signature made by the Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles, according to senior Navy officers.
British submariners have also reported that they are experiencing the highest number of “contacts” with Russian submarines since 1987.
It’s no secret that the Russians have been trying the same thing with American boats, as well as those of the French. I’d be willing to place bets they’re also shadowing the Chinese, too.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt that, within the past six months, a Russian Akula entered the North Atlantic and attempted to track a Vanguard. The incident has remained secret until now.
It is understood that the Russians stood off Faslane, where the British nuclear force is based, and waited for a Trident-carrying boat to come out for its three-month patrol to provide the Continuous At Sea Deterrent.
No kidding. They used to put Victor’s and other boats off of our Sub bases and other ports like Norfolk. Why that comes as a surprise to the folks writing this article is beyond me. It’s called “choke-point” tactics and we used it to defeat the Japanese in WWII, and it’s what every submarine force tries to do wherever and whenever possible. This is another reason why basing all your vessels, or even most of them, in one place is just asking for trouble. One or two boats can potentially bottle up and destroy an entire fleet. Heck, the original design for the Soviet November class SSN called for a single HUGE torpedo tube in the bow to fire a massive nuclear torpedo in a port to take out most of what was there.
Regardless, the Russians understand that, even though England, the US and France still maintain their SSBN fleets, our ASW capabilities are severely degraded and they’ve likely come out to play and see how much they can get away with.
CNO: Are you listening? We don’t need a damned Diversity Command. We need more and better ASW assets and training. Our Navy is supposed to be able to defeat our enemies, not dazzle them with our rainbow appearances.
If the Russians are headed back to the vasty deep with their best SSN’s, and reopening the game, then we need to get on this ASAP, because in ASW, like all forms of Intel, coming in second means you lose.