Russian claim of U.S. sub in territorial waters: A little more than meets the eye

Smoke signals.

Russia claimed on Saturday 12 February that one of their Pacific Fleet ships, Udaloy-class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov (BPK-543), recently drove a U.S. attack submarine out of Russian territorial waters.

The claim appears to refer to actions allegedly undertaken during M. Shaposhnikov’s current underway period for fleet exercises.

According to RIA Novosti, the Russian navy “discovered an American submarine of the ‘Virginia’ type near the island of Urup.”

“The crew of the submarine,” says RIA Novosti, “was given a message in Russian and English via underwater communication: ‘You are in the territorial waters of Russia. Surface immediately!’” Continue reading “Russian claim of U.S. sub in territorial waters: A little more than meets the eye”

The “sounds” of silence: Russia gears up for a war game unlike any other

Interesting times go high-order, under the sea.

As the world careens through January 2022 waiting to see what will happen with Russia, Ukraine, and NATO, a side drama unfolding off the coast of Ireland may yield clues to the scope of operation Russia has in mind in the coming days.

The initial indication of it came in a form that, in different circumstances, is usually prosaic: a hazard notice to airmen (NOTAM) lodged by Russia for an area about 170 nautical miles (NM) southwest of Ireland’s southwest coast.

The NOTAM indicates Continue reading “The “sounds” of silence: Russia gears up for a war game unlike any other”

The Shakiest Nukes in the West

“Listen up, yo: I’m deterring you now”

In case everyone in Northeast Asia missed it, in spite of their intelligence and early-warning networks which have assuredly been tracking it in fine detail, the Obama Defense Department announced on Monday that the U.S. has been deterring North Korea by sending B-52 bombers on practice runs in its vicinity.  The specter of nuclear deterrence was clarified by Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter:

Deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter said during a visit to South Korea on Monday that the bomber flights are part of the U.S. “extended deterrence”—the use of U.S. nuclear forces to deter North Korea, which conducted its third underground nuclear test Feb. 12.

Nukes! I say.  Nukes!  Pay attention, dudes.

As Bill Gertz demurely puts it, Continue reading “The Shakiest Nukes in the West”

Peace in our time: Akula in the GOM

Interesting times.

Now the Russians have gone and done it.  The Washington Free Beacon reports that a Russian Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico in June and July 2012.*  The wording in the report suggests that we recognized when the submarine left the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – presumably through the Florida Straits – that it had been in the Gulf.  US national intelligence agencies probably had a good idea that the SSN was deployed, and may have assessed that it was in the Western hemisphere, but they didn’t know where.  Armed with the knowledge that the submarine had departed the GOM, they “walked back” to the likely deployment date to determine when the submarine probably entered the GOM undetected.

The Washington Free Beacon story highlights the fact that the submarine was in the GOM during the G-20 summit in Mexico in June, Continue reading “Peace in our time: Akula in the GOM”

Submarine Sneaks into Beirut? Why That’s Bad

A “Russian submarine” in Beirut was probably one built for Algeria and exported this spring. That’s bad.

Retired Army Major General Paul Vallely spoke to Pajamas Media for a video posted today in which he says a Russian submarine offloaded hazardous cargo in Beirut a “couple of weeks ago.”  This is something I had heard from another source last week.  I imagine the ultimate source is Israeli intelligence.

According to MG Vallely, the Russian submarine flew the flag of Iran while it was in port Beirut.  He indicated the sub probably came from the Baltic, but offered no other details.

My assessment:  the report has a strong likelihood of being valid, but I doubt the submarine in question is a unit of the Russian Navy. Continue reading “Submarine Sneaks into Beirut? Why That’s Bad”