For those that think the US is on top of things, the world is peaceful and Russia is our friend, think again. Likewise with China, as hardly any US citizen will remember the Chinese submarine incident in November of 2007. If it was during war, the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk super carrier and the rest of its fleet could’ve been wiped out. It can now be argued that the Russian and Chinese military are technologically on par with their US counterparts. The USA is not invincible, and it is also blindly disarming while the enemies are rearming and gaining more friends hostile to US interests.
Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. officials say
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.