Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Russian Boats Wanting To Play At Varsity Level

Here's a story from The Daily Telegraph about how a front-line Russian SSN has reportedly been trying to track a British boomer over the last few months. Excerpts:
A specially upgraded Russian Akula class submarine has been caught trying to record the acoustic signature made by the Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles, according to senior Navy officers.
British submariners have also reported that they are experiencing the highest number of "contacts" with Russian submarines since 1987...
...The Daily Telegraph has learnt that, within the past six months, a Russian Akula entered the North Atlantic and attempted to track a Vanguard. The incident has remained secret until now.
It is understood that the Russians stood off Faslane, where the British nuclear force is based, and waited for a Trident-carrying boat to come out for its three-month patrol to provide the Continuous At Sea Deterrent.
I know the reaction from most Submariners is "Oh, how cute! The Russkie-pusskies want to come play. Aren't they grown up!" And, of course, if they were trying that crap off of our waters, we could afford to make fun of them as we fold, spindle, and mutilate their acoustic signature while getting a lot of training for our forces. The thing is, the Russians are actually playing with someone who is right about at their level -- a British defense (or "defence") establishment that has thrown away whatever power-projection capabilities they may have over the last several years, and now can't even drive off an unfriendly SSN right off their coast. Hopefully, the Brits have swallowed their pride and are getting some help from their Big Brothers across the ocean.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that this has made the news, how long do you think it will take a 688 Skipper to read this and go hangout at Faslane? Nothing like a little training to keep people sharp.

8/28/2010 8:04 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Sweden may have an abiding national interest in this game, as well, and certainly the AIP wherewithal to monitor Akulas covertly.

An even more unsurprising player would be Poland. When was the last time anyone heard about any of Poland's aging submarines?

Poland certainly has motive and opportunity to monitor Russia.
While Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, North Korea sub programs have all been in the news,
Poland's Kobbens and Kilo, however, have been conspicuously absent. - Talk about stealth!

Very hard to believe Poland has no secret lease for a prototype from Kockums.

Any contradictory wisdom or factual objections out there?

8/28/2010 8:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good news!

As a retired submariner and current DOD employee working undersea warfare, I love to hear about the Chinese and Russians coming out to keeps me in business.

To all the submarines out there, both friendly and not, good hunting!

8/28/2010 1:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a very very long surface transit to the dive point from Faslane back in late 1993.

8/28/2010 1:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing I'd love more than tracking this guy...than a SMOOTH TOUCH in the middle of onsta time.

8/28/2010 6:13 PM

Anonymous MentalJim said...

I lost my favorite hat in the Firth of Clyde.

8/28/2010 7:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just looking at google, it doesn't look that hard to do. Especially if you get some good HUMINT queing as they head out to sea.

I wonder if the brits do any kind of delousing or do they just hope for the best?

Oh well, at least the brits have someone to play with. No one ever comes over to America anymore (at least not covertly) to play. We always have to travel somewhere to find trouble.

8/29/2010 11:03 AM

Anonymous nhsparky said...

Well, better we travel there than they come here. Remember in WWII, we had Japanese and German subs off our coasts. Not a good idea to play that game again. That being said, you would think the Brits, of all people, would understand the importance of a strong Navy...

8/29/2010 12:49 PM

Anonymous xem2 said...

The odds of an all-out nuclear exchange with Russia has become so low that it's barely conceivable anymore. That's probably why the Brits have gotten complacent about their Tridents. It's tough to stay motivated and train hard without the threat of having to use those skills.

8/29/2010 7:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not get carried away with our American exceptionalism here. The Royal Navy submariners I've had the good fortune to meet, both in port and at-sea exercises, are pretty damn good. Without our crazy sea-shore rotation and a smaller force, I'd have to guess that each of them has, on average, more Russian tracking time than do most of us.

8/30/2010 1:52 PM

Anonymous Who hasn't ever been stupid? said...

Speaking of "The Stupid Shall Be Punished"...THE VERY BEST definition of "stupid" that I have ever heard in my 50-odd years as an American submarine officer and commercial businessman/vigilante is contained at this very profound mp3 link - a commentary by the extraordinary Doug Casey.

This is most highly recommended listening to'll have your agreements & disagreements with it, but it's certainly worth every minute. It contains truly great insights and information, politically incorrect and otherwise.

8/31/2010 7:45 PM


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