Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. official

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare' started by Neil, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

    It is only the second time since 2009 that a Russian attack submarine has patrolled so close to U.S. shores.

    The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

    The submarine patrol also exposed what U.S. officials said were deficiencies in U.S. anti-submarine warfare capabilities—forces that are facing cuts under the Obama administration’s plan to reduce defense spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years.

    The Navy is in charge of detecting submarines, especially those that sail near U.S. nuclear missile submarines, and uses undersea sensors and satellites to locate and track them.

    The fact that the Akula was not detected in the Gulf is cause for concern, U.S. officials said.

    The officials who are familiar with reports of the submarine patrol in the Gulf of Mexico said the vessel was a nuclear-powered Akula-class attack submarine, one of Russia’s quietest submarines.

    A Navy spokeswoman declined to comment.

    One official said the Akula operated without being detected for a month.

    “The Akula was built for one reason and one reason only: To kill U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines and their crews,” said a second U.S. official.

    “It’s a very stealthy boat so it can sneak around and avoid detection and hope to get past any protective screen a boomer might have in place,” the official said, referring to the Navy nickname for strategic missile submarines.

    The U.S. Navy operates a strategic nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia. The base is homeport to eight missile-firing submarines, six of them equipped with nuclear-tipped missiles, and two armed with conventional warhead missiles.

    “Sending a nuclear-propelled submarine into the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean region is another manifestation of President Putin demonstrating that Russia is still a player on the world’s political-military stage,” said naval analyst and submarine warfare specialist Norman Polmar.

    “Like the recent deployment of a task force led by a nuclear cruiser into the Caribbean, the Russian Navy provides him with a means of ‘showing the flag’ that is not possible with Russian air and ground forces,” Polmar said in an email.

    The last time an Akula submarine was known to be close to U.S. shores was 2009, when two Akulas were spotted patrolling off the east coast of the United States.

    Those submarine patrols raised concerns at the time about a new Russian military assertiveness toward the United States, according to the New York Times, which first reported the 2009 Akula submarine activity.

    The latest submarine incursion in the Gulf further highlights the failure of the Obama administration’s “reset” policy of conciliatory actions designed to develop closer ties with Moscow.

    Instead of closer ties, Russia under President Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB intelligence officer who has said he wants to restore elements of Russia’s Soviet communist past, has adopted growing hardline policies against the United States.

    Of the submarine activity, Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “It’s a confounding situation arising from a lack of leadership in our dealings with Moscow. While the president is touting our supposed ‘reset’ in relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin is actively working against American interests, whether it’s in Syria or here in our own backyard.”

    The Navy is facing sharp cuts in forces needed to detect and counter such submarine activity.

    The Obama administration’s defense budget proposal in February cut $1.3 billion from Navy shipbuilding projects, which will result in scrapping plans to build 16 new warships through 2017.

    The budget also called for cutting plans to buy 10 advanced P-8 anti-submarine warfare jets needed for submarine detection.

    In June, Russian strategic nuclear bombers and support aircraft conducted a large-scale nuclear bomber exercise in the arctic. The exercise included simulated strikes on “enemy” strategic sites that defense officials say likely included notional attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Alaska.

    Under the terms of the 2010 New START arms accord, such exercises require 14-day advanced notice of strategic bomber drills, and notification after the drills end. No such notification was given.

    A second, alarming air incursion took place July 4 on the West Coast when a Bear H strategic bomber flew into U.S. airspace near California and was met by U.S. interceptor jets.

    That incursion was said to have been a bomber incursion that has not been seen since before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

    It could not be learned whether the submarine in the Gulf of Mexico was an Akula 1 type submarine or a more advanced Akula 2.

    It is also not known why the submarine conducted the operation. Theories among U.S. analysts include the notion that submarine incursion was designed to further signal Russian displeasure at U.S. and NATO plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe.

    Russia’s chief of the general staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, said in May that Russian forces would consider preemptive attacks on U.S. and allied missile defenses in Europe, and claimed the defenses are destabilizing in a crisis.

    Makarov met with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in July. Dempsey questioned him about the Russian strategic bomber flights near U.S. territory.

    The voyage of the submarine also could be part of Russian efforts to export the Akula.

    Russia delivered one of its Akula-2 submarines to India in 2009. The submarine is distinctive for its large tail fin.

    Brazil’s O Estado de Sao Paoli reported Aug. 2 that Russia plans to sell Venezuela up to 11 new submarines, including one Akula.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow’s military is working to set up naval replenishment facilities in Vietnam and Cuba, but denied there were plans to base naval forces in those states.

    Asked if Russia planned a naval base in Cuba, Lavrov said July 28: “We are not speaking of any bases. The Russian navy ships serve exercise cruises and training in the same regions. To harbor, resupply, and enable the crew to rest are absolutely natural needs. We have spoken of such opportunities with our Cuban friends.” The comment was posted in the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

    Russian warships and support vessels were sent to Venezuela in 2008 to take part in naval exercises in a show of Russian support for the leftist regime of Hugo Chavez. The ships also stopped in Cuba.

    Russian Deputy Premier Dmitri Rogozin announced in February that Russia was working on a plan to build 10 new attack submarines and 10 new missile submarines through 2030, along with new aircraft carriers.

    Submarine warfare specialists say the Akula remains the core of the Russian attack submarine force.

    The submarines can fire both cruise missiles and torpedoes, and are equipped with the SSN-21 and SSN-27 submarine-launched cruise missiles, as well as SSN-15 anti-submarine-warfare missiles. The submarines also can lay mines.

    The SSN-21 has a range of up to 1,860 miles.



    http://freebeacon.com/silent-running/
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
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  3. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    USN needs MOAR funding to detect undetectable subs
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    whats MOAR...??
     
  5. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    If that submarine was not detected how come US officials knew about its "incursion?" Where they told by the Russians later on? And the leak of the incursion came from the US? Something's fishy...
     
  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    Could the USN be trying to have a bigger budget?:shocked:
     
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  7. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    :D

    That is the most effective (and only) way to get that bigger budget for USN. ;)
     
  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    I agree that is a possibility.

    When the Soviets flew the plane below, some American scientists created racket of paranoia calling it the 'Nuclear Powered Bomber!' They did it to get more funds for their own research.

    [​IMG]
    Myasishchev-50/52
     
  9. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    and I feel proud that the Indian Navy has also bought the Akula class submarine
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    This is not the first time this has happened. Akula was also spotted of the US East coast in 2009.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/05patrol.html

    Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  11. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    Urban Dictionary: moar
     
    Neil likes this.
  12. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    Invisible Russian submarine

    [​IMG]

    In June-July, the Akula-class submarine, an attack warship capable of carrying long-range ballistic missiles, travelled in the Gulf of Mexico patrolling the US coast. The US satellites and hydro-acoustic sensors failed to spot it. The US Navy spotted only the submarine’s tail when it was leaving the waters of the Gulf.

    Without breaking international law a Russian nuclear-powered submarine has successfully accomplished its training mission near the coast of the US. The submarine, which is equipped with long-range cruise missiles, shuttled for one month in the Gulf of Mexico without being detected by the US Navy, Washington Free Beacon reports citing unnamed high ranking sources in the Pentagon. The US Navy detected the submarine only when it was leaving the waters of the Gulf.

    Without violating international legislation and the sovereignty of another state the Russian Navy has managed to accomplish several tactical and strategic tasks. First, the crew has completed a successful training mission. Second, the Russian military forces have received data about the routes of the US submarines and ships in the Gulf. Russia has also showed the US that an absolutely flawless security system does not exist, Vladimir Yevseyev, head of the Center of social and political studies, said:

    "This is a good lesson for the US, demonstrating that it should not pursue its foreign policy interests all over the world using force. Other states also have some military potential. If the US pursues its national interests only by means of force a boomerang effect will take place. The US should realize that it is also vulnerable because the anti-missile system is not efficient enough when it comes to cruised missiles, that can fly at low altitudes. Nuclear submarines carry cruise missiles, that cannot be detected using conventional means designed for repelling ballistic missiles attacks. Cruise missiles create a breach in anti-missile defense. They show that an ideal anti-missile system does not exist. This destroys the image of the US’ invincibility, which backs its policy of all permissiveness on the global arena."

    While Russian military experts are congratulating each other on the successful mission, the US’ inability to spot a submarine aroused concerns in the military circles. So far there have been no official statements from the US authorities and the military. But it is unlikely that the information leak was accidental. By disclosing this information the Pentagon is trying to convince the Congress not to reduce expenditure on military needs, Alexander Kramchikhin, expert with the Institute of political and military studies, says:

    "I don’t doubt that this information was disclosed in connection with the budget. Now significant cuts of the US military budget are under way and this campaign is aimed at preventing budget cuts in the Navy."

    Akula is a multi-purpose submarine of the Russian Navy, which is distinguished by a high level of stealth. Russia has produced 15 submarines of this class and transferred one of them to India.

    Invisible Russian submarine: Voice of Russia
     
  13. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    The question still is if that Akula submarine slipped into the Gulf of Mexico undetected how come the Americans knew about it? Personally, I think the Americans all along knew about it and was able to track it. But they could not do anything about after all the sub was still in international waters. If anything, this incident portrays the audacity of the Russians (nagging desire to be taken seriously by the US again as its rival) not the ineffectiveness of American anti-submarine defenses. Anyway, the leak made by the Americans of this incursion later on is more about budget fights.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    I may not agree with the displeasure you betray, my friend, but I tend to agree this is about budget. :D
     
  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    So far the story has only one source, AFAIK.
     
  16. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    Most probably false news. Even if it was true, no US official will mention it to the media.
     
  17. aeroblogger

    aeroblogger Regular Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    Something we can learn from them. Indian media is ravenous, but the fact that officials are willing to talk makes it worse.
     
  18. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    No Indian official will tell this either.

    You are talking about our defence industry, not the armed forces.
     
  19. Austin

    Austin Regular Member

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    Re: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. offi

    The news is denied by Pentagon , Russian official have refused to comment on the story.

    Likely the news is associated with the $ 1 trillion defence cut on the anvil and the Navy will be impacted by it as well.

    Such news will help navy galvanise opinion by saving some projects taking hit specially ASW.

    But Akula has always been a problem for USN , tracking it in a sustained manner has always been a challenge , some sporadic or short time contacts are possible but long range tracking and detection is a problem.

    No less that USN chief Jeremy Boorda is on record praising the Akula submarine and how difficult is it to track even in friendly waters.

    Well Jeremy on visit to Russia got an opportunity to visit Akula and Delta class subs

    There was in incident some times in late nineties when a Akula tracked an Ohio SSBN on detterent patrol in friendly waters for 2 days and at the end of it pinged the US subs as she left .....the Akula captain was awarded hero of russia title and all crew awarded.

    Having said that Westen SSN have moved ahead with Virginia class subs which are more advanced than Akula class and it will be only when Yasen hits the water will Russian navy will have reached those levels
     
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