A file picture taken in Brest harbor, western France, on September 21, 2004, shows the Vepr Russian nuclear submarine of the Project 971 Shchuka-B type, or Akula-class (Shark) by NATO classification , the same type as the Nerpa Russian nuclear submarine. Russia has handed over the nuclear-powered attack submarine Nerpa to India at a ceremony that followed more than two years of delays, a source in the naval chief of staff told ITAR-TASS today. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
The sub, the Free Beacon says, is an Akula vessel loaded with cruise missiles and is one of the quietest in the Russian fleet.
From the report:
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 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.
If confirmed, this isn’t the first time the Russians have made such a bold move recently. In 2009,the New York Times reported two other nuclear-powered attack subs were found to have patrolled the eastern seaboard, about 200 miles off the coast.
“It’s a confounding situation arising from a lack of leadership in our dealings with Moscow,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told the Free Beacon. “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.”
|Tehran‘s semiofficial news agency quotes high-ranking naval official as saying country has launched project’s ‘initial stages’
Zamini added that Iran has developed “peaceful nuclear technology” and has both the capability and the right to build a submarine.
Iran’s ‘Younus’ (Photo: Reuters)
Iran has domestically built several small submarines over the past years. It has recently overhauled one of the three non-nuclear Russian Kilo-class submarinesit bought in 1990s.
The Fars report further added that Tehran’s plan will express its “high capabilities in designing and manufacturing different types of submarines.”
In 2011, Iran launched a Tareq-class submarine, “Younus,” which sailed alongside Tehran’s 14th fleet of into the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
“Right now we are at the initial phases of manufacturing atomic submarines,” Rear Adm. Abbas Zamini of the Iranian navy’s technical affairs department told the semi-official Fars news agency.
Israel is supplied with submarines armed and financed largely by Germany, armed with cruise missiles with nuclear warheads an influential German weekly reported in its edition to be published on Monday.
The magazine said in a cover story that is likely to trigger a debate in Germany that Berlin had so far denied any knowledge of German submarines that were being used as part of an Israeli nuclear arsenal.
Israel is the only Middle East, if yet undeclared nuclear armed power.
The article, based on a months-long investigation, before the files of the Ministry of Foreign Affairsin Berlin, which indicates that the West German state was aware of the practice as soon as 1961.
Germany has provided Israel with three of the submarines in question, paying most of the bill, and three will be delivered in 2017 under a recently signedcontract.
Meanwhile, Israel is weighing whether to ask for three more, according to the report.
The Israeli Navy is preparing to receive its fourth Dolphin-class submarine by training a larger number of combat submarine crewmen and marine commando forces. The IDF Website quoted a reliable Navy source as saying approximately 10% more submarine crewmen will be trained at first.
“The submarine is currently undergoing tests, which only a limited number of officersparticipate in,” an Israeli Navy official told the IDF website. Once the testing phase is complete, a team of Israeli combat soldiers will take command of the submarine in German waters. It will most likely arrive in Israel in 2013 and will join the current IDF submarine fleet. The new submarine is considered to be one of the most advanced and versatile in the world, capable of adapting to a wide variety of missions.
In order to attract more enlistees to the submarine force, the IDF plans to open a submarine youth track as part of the Gadna – a pre-military program that introduces high school aged youth to the military.
The INS Tanin and two additional submarines that have been ordered will double the number of existing Israeli submarines.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said recently that the new submarine “will amplify the capabilities of the IDF and the State of Israel‘s strength.” In a probable allusion to the conflict with Iran, he added: “The Navy has undergone strategic changes over the past few years that place it at the forefront of the battle over the safety of Israel, as the long arm of the IDF.”