China’s New Ballistic Missile Submarine Could Change its Prospects in Nuclear War

In the Deep Tropical Seas: The Type 094A, China’s newest nuclear missile submarine, is currently based at Hainan Island, in the underground submarine base at Yulin. It’s under the protection of the South Seas Fleet. [hmmw]

 

First seen in late November 2016, the Type 094A differs from the previous four Type 094 SSBNs, what with its curved conning tower and front base that’s blended into the submarine hull, possibly to reduce hydrodynamic drag. The Type 094A’s conning tower has also removed its windows. Additionally, the Type 094A has a retractable towed array sonar (TAS) mounted on the top of its upper tailfin, which would make it easier for the craft to “listen” for threats and avoid them. Continue reading

Another Defeat for America’s Military

Skyrocketing costs and an aging military are conspiring to leave America vulnerable in unsuspected ways.

Over 70 percent of the surface of the Earth is water. Early in its history, leadership in the United States understood the vital importance of creating a strong, reliable naval force to protect our borders and trade. During the Reagan era, the U.S. Navy boasted a fleet of 600 ships. Today, 272 ships are deployable in combat and support assignments. There has been a 20 percent reduction in the number of usable ships since 1998.

With the explosive cost of new technology and ship building, difficult decisions must be made. There is only so much money available to maintain our force and build security for the future. We simply cannot afford a 600-ship navy, and many defense experts argue we don’t need that many due to weapons advancements and other technology developments.

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Britain’s Trident Nuclear Program at Risk From Unmanned Sub Drones

The UK Trident nuclear deterrent program – at the center of a row over its replacement – is at risk from a new generation of cheap underwater drones which could render the whole basis of submarine deployment useless, according to a new report.

The UK parliament is due to make a decision on replacing its ageing fleet of Vanguard class submarines, which carry the Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles to be used as a weapon of last resort as part of Britain’s nuclear deterrent program.

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China’s Strange Fascination with the Soviet Navy

“We Will Die, but … Sink the Enemy’s Entire Squadron:  We Will Not Cause Our Navy to Lose Face”

Russia is back in vogue among Chinese strategists, at least for now.  Undoubtedly, this excitement is partly the result of recent geopolitical developments in Eastern Europe, but the trend was also evident before the Ukraine Crisis.  Whereas discussions of direct historical links between Chinese and Soviet strategy had been a somewhat taboo subject for decades, these discussions are now becoming ever more common.   A recent Chinese book published by the Chinese military, for example, describes in extreme detail the critical Soviet aid given to the establishment of China’s naval air force back in the early 1950s. However, these discussions go well beyond history to draw major overarching lessons for future Chinese naval development, including “缓解…本土战略压力 [relieving strategic pressure against the … homeland].” Continue reading

Declining Power

Admiral: U.S. submarine forces decline as forces of China, Russia, Iran advance undersea warfare capabilities

China, Russia, and Iran pose regional and strategic submarine threats and are building up undersea warfare capabilities as the Navy is cutting its submarine force by 30 percent, the admiral in charge of Pentagon submarine programs told Congress on Thursday.

Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director of Navy undersea warfare programs, said the decline of U.S. submarines is placing a key U.S. military advantage at risk.

“Our adversaries are not standing still, and so even though we have an advantage and we have a lead, we can’t sit on our lead,” Breckenridge told a hearing of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee. Continue reading

Russia to resume SSBN patrols of worldwide strategic waterways

In a throwback to the Cold War, Russia announced plans to beef up its submarine patrols of strategic waters around the world.

“On June 1 or a bit later we will resume constant patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,” Russian Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky announced Feb. 3.

Global patrols by nuclear-powered, ballistic missile-carrying submarines or SSBNs were a hallmark of the Soviet Union’s nuclear deterrence strategy.

Full article: Russia to resume SSBN patrols of worldwide strategic waterways (World Tribune)