The Yury Dolgoruky is the first of the new Borei (North Wind) class of ballistic submarines replacing earlier Soviet-era subs. Although the United States still has the edge in nuclear submarine numbers and effectiveness, Moscow and its allies are demonstrating the will to challenge the United States, but America seems unaware of this multi-national assertion of new-found strength.
For the United States, the period from initial design to implementation of a new major weapons system can take decades. A new model nuclear submarine, for instance, will take about 20 years from drawing board to acceptance into the active fleet, according to Rick Norris, a former U.S. intelligence analyst with over two decades of experience.
Norris, however, is more alarmed at the small and ageing number of individuals who can design nuclear weapons systems for America’s future needs. Norris informed International News Analysis Today that the shrinking and ageing number of U.S. nuclear weapons designers “is of significant concern to our strategic planners and is a current topic under discussion, if not at the highest levels, at least at intermediate military strategic planning levels.”
It is at the “intermediate military strategic planning” levels where scientific development meets military requirements and realities.
American weapons design is increasingly dependent on foreign scientists working in the U.S., in large part because mathematics, physics, and related sciences are deemphasized in the American educational system, Norris stated.
While Moscow has its problems in design and implementation, governmental commitment at the highest levels is not one of them. But, for many in the U.S. government, and those influencing the mass media – liberal and conservative — Moscow remains a post-Cold War stereotype: a weak nation and an insignificant player on the world scene.
Full article: Russian Nuclear Submarine as Omen — Will U.S. Continue to Disarm? (International News Analysis Today)