(NationalSecurity.news) Russia is once more engaging in submarine tactics reminiscent of the Cold War, proving U.S. anti-submarine networks in a new “battle of the Atlantic,” according to the commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
In an article for the U.S. Naval Institute’s June issue of Proceedings, Vice Adm. James Foggo III outlined a new era in U.S. and Russian submarine warfare he dubs “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic.”
In his article, Foggo compares the current increase in Russia’s sub posture to the great submarine battles between the Allies and the Germans during World Wars I & II, as well as the Soviet Navy and the U.S. during the Cold War.
“Once again, an effective, skilled, and technologically advanced Russian submarine force is challenging us. Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict,” Foggo wrote.
“Not only have Russia’s actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners.”
Since the Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014, Russian Navy surface ships, aircraft and submarines have been much more active in presence operations – particularly the submarines, he notes.
Russian government and military officials have expressed candor regarding increased sub operations over the last couple of years. For instance, Russian Navy head Adm. Viktor Chirkov said in March of 2015 that submarines operations have increased by 50 percent.
“This is logical and necessary to guarantee the security of the state,” he said at the time in Russian state-controlled press.
Though Russian surface ships and aircraft are not as technologically advanced as their U.S. equivalents, Moscow has nevertheless maintained a strong submarine industrial base since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In late 2014 the U.S. officer in charge of American sub construction told a conference that he was so impressed with the Russian Navy’s new Yassen class attack subs that he had a model built of the first-in-class attack boat K-329 Severodvinsk.
“We’ll be facing tough potential opponents. One only has to look at the Severodvinsk, Russia’s version of a [nuclear-guided missile submarine] (SSGN),” then-Program Executive Office submarines Vice Adm. Dave Johnson said at the time.
“I am so impressed with this ship that I had [the Navy] build a model from unclassified data.”
Besides nuclear submarines, the Russians are improving the technological capability of their diesel-electric submarines, including the ability for Russian Kilos to launch long-range Kalibir NK cruise missiles, USNI News reported.
“These are the platforms that are the most challenging for us to deal with because of their inherent stealth,” Foggo wrote.
“As demonstrated last December by Kalibr launches into Syria from the Eastern Mediterranean, Russian leaders will use such weapons at will, without the same qualms we have about collateral damage.”
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