Hunting Red October

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Satellite photo of the second Soviet Typhoon ballistic missile submarine taken in October 1982 after its launch at the Severodvinsk shipyard. The expected launch of the third Typhoon became a controversial issue within the US intelligence community in late 1983. Satellite photography was the primary method for monitory Soviet submarine construction. (credit: NRO)

 

Whenever a new Soviet ballistic missile submarine took to sea for the first time, slipping beneath the waves to begin testing its systems and training its crew, there was a good chance that an American attack submarine was lurking in the vicinity, listening in, snooping.

But before the Soviet subs left the vast construction facility at Severodvinsk on the White Sea, the Americans had to find other ways of gathering intelligence on them, and for much of the Cold War their resources were very limited. There were no spies leaving microfilm in dead drops in Moscow, no James Bond in scuba gear crawling out of the freezing water at the dock and snapping photographs before escaping in a hovercraft. For the most part, the primary method the Americans had of gaining intel on new Soviet submarines before they slid below the chilly waters of the Barents Sea were satellites that flew far overhead and took photographs. Continue reading

German fighter jets start patrolling Baltic skies with full ammo

From the Soviet propaganda outlet, Russia Today:

 

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A Eurofighter Typhoon © Carl Court / AFP

 

German fighter jets are flying the Baltic skies fully armed “for the first time since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis,” the DPA news agency reports citing the German Air Force’s Inspector General Karl Müllner. He explained the move was not about “escalation,” but it is needed to ensure parity when encountering a potential enemy. The German military official did not elaborate on which Air Force might become the enemy.

Müllner added that ammunition on board Eurofighters is also necessary to “motivate pilots” on missions in the Baltic skies.

Continue reading

Russian submarine with 20 ICBMs and 200 nuclear warheads is sailing to Syria

Further background information on a previous post.

Ironically, the previous post, originally derived from state-owned propaganda outlet Sputnik News, mentions that the submarine was Arctic-bound for anti-submarine drills. We’ll likely find out within the next few days where it actually winds up — likely in Syrian waters.

 

The world’s largest submarine, the Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208), Nato-coded Typhoon, has set sail for the Mediterranean and is destined for the Syrian coast, debkafile reports exclusively from its military and intelligence sources. Aboard the sub are 20 Bulava (NATO-code SS-N-30) intercontinental ballistic missiles with an estimated up to 200 nuclear warheads. Each missile, with a reported range of 10,000km, carries 6-10 MIRV nuclear warheads. Continue reading

RAF fighter jets scrambled to intercept Russian spy plane

The two RAF planes, which are currently policing the Baltic skies, were alerted after the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 Coot surveillance aircraft was spotted.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the incident took place in international airspace over the Gulf of Finland at lunchtime. Continue reading