This post discusses concepts of undersea warfare for the near future, incl. vulnerable spots, new technologies & more. For those who are interested in how things work in the World, this post is designed as a concise insightful look at this vital subject. Water covers 71% of the globe. While most attention is focused on satellite communication, basically all of the world’s information travels over 200+ highly active cables deep under the sea. These deep cables (some miles underwater) cross all the oceans & seas, and are the lifeblood of the World System. Recently, Russian subs have been monitoring undersea fiber optic cables (in the same way that American subs spied on Russia during the Cold War. This takes precision work.) The global underwater cable system does have a few non- operational “dark cables” in reserve as back up, but not enough to prevent the system from being very vulnerable to destruction. Also the U.S. created a secret global grid underwater to insure that underwater craft could accurately determine their location. This grid has also been monitored by the Russians.
SIGNIFICANCE & SIZE. American subs have virtually unlimited endurance to stay submerged. They “routinely” go into hostile waters. Their missiles can hit essentially anywhere on the globe. 14 American nuclear ballistic missiles provide the nation with their most credible nuclear response. America’s 4 nuclear guided missile subs (each carrying 154 Tomahawk missiles) in 2011 fired 90 Tomahawks into Libya. (In spite of their importance, the no. of these went from 41 subs in ‘72 to 14 Ohio class subs in 2014. And the 4 guided missile subs are scheduled to retire in 2025.). The third class—the Virginia class attack subs are being upgraded, the Block III Virginias now coming into service (for instance, the USS North Dakota), while 10 Block IV subs are in the pipeline. Each of these VAs cost around $3 billion, and take perhaps 74 months to build. In all, 28 Virginia class subs are deployed or on their way. American subs are not under U.S. operational control all the time, at times they are under COMSUBNATO, whose HQ is located in the London area just off of the M25 loop. Thirteen other NATO nations have subs, which at times do ops together. American subs operate in all the oceans. Russia’s Typhoon-class & Boris-class subs are much larger than America’s nuclear Ohio class subs, but not as powerful. Each Ohio-class sub has 2 crews: a Blue & a Gold. Building these modern subs takes years. If a sub fleet shrinks, it is difficult—maybe impossible– to expand its size quickly.
NEW CAPABILITIES. Every new resource is being looked at by the Navy to see how it can be incorporated to improve their abilities, such as new computer tech & new materials. The security of a sub is its invisibility. This today means silence & stealth. Stealth in a sub is a function of how it is built. It is also important how the crew operates (they have to move around quietly on the ship) & how it is maintained. Ever improving stealth technology is important for Amer. subs, & has given them an advantage over soviet subs during the cold war. American subs are improving their abilities to go under the Arctic ice and into shallow coast areas (Littoral areas). For instance, they mapped the Arctic sea bed, and installed improved sensors for many things so that they can avoid underwater ice ridges projecting as deep as 100’, uncharted volcanoes and other Arctic threats. Cool handheld devices are being tested that allow a user to move through the sub seeing all the information on his screen (or her screen, as women are now serving on U.S. subs). Watch teams may someday sit around a digital table. METOC (satellite info) streams in to add to situational awareness. More electric controls and high power-density electric motors have been installed. Guided torpedoes that compensate for target evasions are deployed. The Navy believes its underwater abilities are far ahead of any rivals. It is trying to improve by improving its info flow.
DEEP ABILITIES. The U.S. Navy leads the world underwater. The Navy has a diving bell (SAT FADS) that can take 6 divers down to 1000’ for up to 21 days of work. Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) can do a lot at deep depths. The NR-1 deep submergence sub goes to 3,000’ & can sit on the bottom. It recovered a missile lost in the Atlantic. There is a NSRS rescue submersible that can mate with any sub and go very deep. The navy can also contract with civilian vehicles if need be. Also I believe there are secret underwater installations. Isn’t interesting that large flying saucers at times are seen coming out of the water? Where are these different kinds of bases? Several UFO reports are from the Pacific. What has been the sub force’s role in relation to these?…I don’t know. Seeing a saucer come out of the water was what woke up William Cooper.
MYSTERIES. Seismic reading showed 9 nuclear explosions in Nov. 17-18, 2008 in the Arctic Ocean. One has to wonder what kind of secrets have U.S. navy personnel been forced to withhold from their fellow Americans.
TEST SITES. ONR operates China Lake test facility in So. Calif.’s desert which has been used for t.b. mind control. An important sub test site for the Navy is Lake Pen Oreille, ID near Bayview & Carderock is the Navy’s primary research organization. The lake has over 26 sq. miles and is over 1,000’ deep. The Naval Undersea Warfare Ct. Div. is at Newport, RI. NATO maritime research is done at La Spezia, It.
RUSSIAN STRATEGY. Russian naval strategy has been based on trying to win in the first strike—an overwhelming first strike because they know their navy cannot exist in a protracted war. This means that if an engagement occurs involving undersea military craft, the Russian initial strike will be as intense as they can make it. Even with the help of Communist China, they would have a difficult time dealing with our subs even if they tried an all-out surprise attack. Russia’s new subs are the Borei class (which costs about 1/3 of its American counterpart) and the Yasen class. The Borei class use a new pump jet propulsion system. China is constructing a major underground nuclear submarine base near Sanya, Hainan. It was reported (The Daily Telegraph- 1 May, ’08) that tunnels were being built into hillsides which could be capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. Currently, they have 6 nuclear attack subs, as well as 4 Jun class ballistic missile subs. They have newer classes being built. Russia has assisted them in sub design.
FINAL THOUGHTS. The American undersea force exceeds any other national power’s. The U.S. is down sizing while trying to improve their subs & how they are operated & maintained. They hope they can keep their advantage this way. Even with their current abilities, they are stretched thin with the missions they are given. The global cable system is open to Russian spying & sabotage, just as it has been to American subs in the past. If current info is accurate, the American submarine fleet still has the power to deter any nation. This leads one to speculate if there is any way for an enemy to neutralize it in the foreseeable future