Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by Dark Matter, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Banned

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    Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.





    By MARK MAZZETTI and THOM SHANKER
    Published: August 4, 2009
    WASHINGTON — A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States over recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

    The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

    But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia even more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts.

    “I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and expert on submarine warfare.

    The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

    According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The second submarine traveled south in recent days to make a port call in Cuba, according to a senior Defense Department official.

    The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.

    The submarine patrols come as Moscow tries to shake off the embarrassment of the latest failed test of the Bulava missile, a long-range weapon that was test fired from a submarine in the Arctic on July 15. The failed missile test was the sixth since 2005, and some experts see Russia’s assertiveness elsewhere as a gambit by the military to prove its continued relevance.

    “It’s the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters,” said Mr. Polmar.

    One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced submarine in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

    Defense Department officials declined to speculate on what weapons might be aboard the two submarines.

    While the submarines had not taken any provocative action beyond their presence outside territorial waters of the United States, officials expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission.

    “Any time the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Department official who has been monitoring reports on the submarines’ activities.

    The official said the Navy was able to track the submarines as they made their way through international waters off the American coastline. This can be done from aircraft, ships, underwater sensors or other submarines.

    “We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”

    Once among the world’s most powerful forces, the Russian Navy now has very few ships regularly deployed on the open seas. Moscow has contributed warships to the international armada searching for Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

    Another example of how Russia’s navy has sought to display global reach came last year when a flotilla of warships, including the nuclear battle cruiser Peter the Great, sailed for exercises with Venezuela.

    The submarine patrols off the East Coast follow Russia’s resumption last year of bomber runs off the coast of Alaska. Russia began sending Tu-95 “Bear” bombers through international air space near Alaska in what was interpreted as a signal of the Kremlin’s unhappiness over decisions by the United States and Europe to recognize Kosovo’s independence, in defiance of Russia.
     
  2. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    It would be a terrible idea, but it must be so tempting to send a Virginia class over to sink one.
     
  3. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Dunno for sure, but I'd be willin to put money on the fact that there's an American sub welded to their stern-planes as we speak.
     
  4. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    They should repeatedly ping them with active sonar to be obnoxious.
     
  5. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "...They should repeatedly ping them with active sonar to be obnoxious..." I hope that's a joke, Clay.

    MM
     
  6. Doughboy

    Doughboy Member

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    Russia is has Nuclear-Powered Submarines off our coast and we're concerned!? We're not threatining Russia at all!?....No threat of military action?
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    They were doing that for years...

    Wonder if there's any Seawolf class subs out there keeping the Russians company.
     
  8. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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  9. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    My brother is on the (688 class) USS Buffalo, he has told me the Sea Wolf class has been a maintenance disaster and that a lot of the guys call them the Pier Wolf class. He has a buddy from power school who is on one and they barely get out of port, much less complete a mission. On the other hand, apparently the Virginia class is awesome.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Bummer, the Seawolf class was supposed to be in place to counter the Akula/Akula II class subs.

    I've heard the Virginia class has some pretty sophisticated electronics, including having it's periscopes replaced by electronic optics.

    Then again, a good ol' fashioned Los Angeles class attack sub in thier shadow should make 'em a little nervous...
     
  11. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    The LA class is getting really old. A lot of the stuff my brother works breaks again in another place as soon as it's fixed. Manning is terrible and they are having the guys in engineering work 16-18 hour days even when they are in port. Morale is terrible and several guys have been put on suicide watch when they get around nervous breakdown level. Add to that the command's "The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves" attitude and it's a lousy situation.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The "Silent Service" is pretty stressful to begin with, my Uncle Fred served aboard a few in the Pacific in WWII.

    He wouldn't talk about alot of it, but I picked up alot of info from other family members about his ordeals.
     
  13. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Justin hates the boat and hates his chief more. That guy wrote someone up for malingering right before the guy's appendix burst.
     
  14. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Clay, what's your brother's rate? I was a nuke EM on Sturgeon-class boats, out of Pearl. USS Drum (677) and USS Cavalla (684), decommed both, plus a few months decomming the USS Indianapolis (697) when they wouldn't let me take the early-out option at my 6-month point. I recall alot of 12-on-12-off shift-work schedules, with regular duty days thrown in. There were times we were working 12- to 15-hour shifts while underway (at sea, everything shifts to an 18-hour workday....which really sucks when you get back in to port) trying to keep the motors and generators running. Several times I got stuck on a 40-hour workday....things start to get really trippy when you've been awake that long! But in spite of all that, we kicked the butts of EVERYBODY we played games with, whether allied subs (I won't mention any countries....y'all're all good! We're just better.) or US surface ships. AKA "targets". The Akula is a nasty piece of hardware...but even the Sturgeon class 637 and higher subs could give it a serious run for its money. It just has more tubes. We're still quieter.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  16. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Funny you'd mention the Cavalla, RA!

    That was one of my Uncle's boats, the Gato class Cavalla 244...she's on static in Seawolf park in Galveston, Texas.

    Oh yeah...that'll leave a mark! :evil4:
     
  18. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    He's an EM. he won't re-enlist despite the fact that they recently offered a $90,000 Re-up bonus. Re-enlistment rates started to plummet in 1998, they've gotten worse pretty much every year. The Navy becoming obsessed with spit and polish and decorum to the point that they clearly hold morale in contempt combined with very high paying jobs in the civilian sector, which further combined with higher and higher stress levels as subs worked more and more understaffed.
     
  19. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I love that shot of the P-3, Joe. That will definitely help keeping an eye on things.
     
  20. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Why would we threaten them?

    1. This has been done for years.

    2. They have done nothing wrong. They are in international waters and have every right to be there. They are not threatening us by doing so. Should Italy threaten us everytime we send a boat in to the Med?

    Think about it...
     
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