Update on Russia and Its Submarines

| August 22, 2020
Russia navy submarine
Russian nuclear submarine Dmitry Donskoy sails under the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark
on its way to Saint Petersburg, July 21, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Sarah Christine Noergaard via Reuters

About Russian subs: are they trying to poke the lion? Again? After all these years?

They’re doing a lot of maneuvering in the Atlantic, have been for several months now. Either they have more money to spend on this kind of thing, or they’re just playing peek-a-boo to see what happens.  Most likely is that they are simply testing the waters the way the waters were tested during the days of the Cold War.


From the article:  NATO navies have played cat-and-mouse with Russian subs around Europe, and when it comes to keeping track of them, Wolters told lawmakers on Tuesday that his command had sufficient visibility, “but not for 100% of the time.”

The US and its allies in NATO have in recent years dedicated more attention to anti-submarine warfare, a skill they let atrophy in the years after the Cold War, as attention shifted to ground conflicts in the Middle East.

Lewis, the commander of US 2nd Fleet, said earlier this month that his command is “relearning” that ASW is “an all-domain fight.”

“It’s a fight in the air. It’s on the surface. It’s in the subsurface down to the seabed, and it’s in space,” Lewis said.

To that end, NATO navies have put better gear on their ships and are buying new platforms — chief among them the P-8 Poseidon, considered the best sub-hunting aircraft on the market.

The British air force, seeking to restore a capability it has lacked for years, received the first of nine P-8s at the end of October, and Norway has ordered five of them.

Those two countries and the US worked together closely during the Cold War to keep an eye on the Greenland-Iceland-UK Gap, a chokepoint through which submarines have to pass between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. – article

I doubt that Vlad Putin really wants a war, when the reality is that he wants cash. But he may be waxing nostalgic for them there Good Ol’ Days of the the Cold War and wants to rattle NATO’s doors now and then.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", NATO, Russia

Comments (18)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    My Cold War has returned? Not really, but Putin is indeed poking the bear with his subs. Can’t say much more, but from a couple years ago:

    Restoration of US air base in Iceland does not mean troops will follow, Navy says
    Author: Nicole Bauke

    The Navy’s construction of a former air base in Iceland does not necessarily mean that U.S. troops will again be stationed in the country, according to Navy officials.

    In response to an increased Russian naval presence in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, the Navy is renovating a hangar to accommodate submarine-hunting P-8A Poseidon aircraft, reported Stars and Stripes.

    The Navy was awarded nearly $36 million for the construction project in the two most recent defense budgets as part of an initiative that began after Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.

    Navy Times

  2. ninja says:

    Russians are coming…again?

    Well, this time, we DEFINITELY need to get organized and bring more guns…but FIRST, we need to head to the Bar:

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I loved that movie! I sat through it three times. No one chased me out of the movie theater, either, as long as I kept getting popcorn.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Are they bringing LT Commander Jerry “The Hammer” O’Malley out of retirement? Do we need to dust off our copy of Red Storm Rising and send it to Vlad? Is the extry uranium that dasHildabitch sold the Russkies being used to power their nuc boats?

    You would think that with all of the colluding going on between Vlad and The ORANGE MAN BAD Russian sub fleets would be spending their port calls at Trump Resorts.

  4. 26Limabeans says:

    The cold war meant lots of R and D which brought us neat toys.
    Military research gave us cell phones, computers and a host of
    other stuff we now take for granted.
    I made a career out of it and retired comfortably.
    All Putin will accomplish is to end up broke after we make them
    spend all their money on defense just like Reagan did.

  5. Cameron says:

    India has been making good use of their P-8 Poseidons as surveillance aircraft for keeping an eye on China and Pakistan.

  6. Cameron says:

    India has been making good use of their P-8 Poseidons as surveillance aircraft for keeping an eye on China and Pakistan.

  7. NHSparky says:

    One thing that concerns me even now that the Russian boats are of a far fewer number while their quality has marginally improved would be our numbers.

    Back when I hit my first boat, we didn’t have the numbers, but even with 637s and first flight 688s being the workhorses of the fleet, we had enough to cover the missions at hand.

    Fast forward 30-odd years, we have less than half the SSNs we did in the 80s. Between yard periods, etc, maybe 40 are deployable at any given time. That’s 20 per coast to cover the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and anyone else that bears coverage.

    Too many missions, to few boats with which to do it. I saw that problem in the 90s when the 637s were going away with not enough 688s to pick up the load. Now we’re decomming 688s with not enough VA class boats to pick up the slack.

    Something somewhere has got to give.

    • Cameron says:

      I’m a member of a group called WARSHIPS! on Facebook and one of the guys (who’s an air dale if I remember correctly, so I’m not too sure if I would turn to him on submarine matters) on there thinks we should invest in the Japanese Sōryū class submarine which is conventionally powered and increasing the amount of submarine tenders to support them (never mind the fact that you can’t go fast with them for too long or else you’ll burn up your fuel). I think he’s forgetting about how far away the US is from everything and a submarine tender would make a juicy target for enemies.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      I read that the old Sturgeons were better than 688s at operating under arctic ice. Does any class currently in service fill that role effectively? Do the Rooskies still like to play in the ice?

      • NHSparky says:

        637s had fairwater planes that would rotate 90 degrees to break through ice. First flight 688s fairwater planes did not rotate 90 degrees.

        Later versions (688-I) and Virginia class boats utilize bow planes and can more easily surface through ice pack.

        Fun note: had I stayed on my second boat a few months longer I too would be a “Bluenose” and would have gone to the North Pole.

  8. Anonymous says:

    They’ve been seeing Hunt for Red October too much again…