Russia has stepped up its submarine operations and is regularly probing U.S. anti-submarine networks in a new “Battle of the Atlantic,” the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet said.
In an article for the U.S. Naval Institute’s June issue of Proceedings, Vice Adm. James Foggo III outlined a new era in U.S. and Russian submarine warfare he dubs “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic.”
In his piece, Foggo compares the current uptick in Russian submarine posture to the great submarine battles between the Allies and the Germans in World War I and World War II and the Soviets and the U.S. during the Cold War.
Once again, an effective, skilled, and technologically advanced Russian submarine force is challenging us. Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict, Foggo wrote.
Not only have Russia’s actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners.
Since the Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014, Russian Navy surface ships, aircraft, and submarines have been much more active in presence operations – particularly the submarines.
Russian officials have been open about increased submarine operations over the last two years. Russian Navy head Adm. Viktor Chirkov said in March of 2015 that submarines operations have increased by 50 percent.
“This is logical and necessary to guarantee the security of the state,” he said at the time in Russian state-controlled press.
While Russian surface ships and aircraft trail behind their U.S. equivalents technologically, Russia has maintained a strong submarine industrial base since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In late 2014, the U.S. officer in charge of the U.S. submarine construction told a conference he was so impressed with the Russian Navy’s new Yassen-class attack submarine he had a model built of the first-in-class attack boat K-329 Severodvinsk.
Read More: U.S. Naval Institue
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