FAZ (Germany): New underwater confrontation between Russia and NATO

FAZ (Германия): Новое подводное противостояние России и НАТО

Autumn for the Russian armed forces — a time of superlatives. During the Grand maneuvers of the Kremlin strategists demonstrate to the world that is able to make their army or — at least — is supposedly able to do. The enumeration record values in messages about exercise typical of Russian propaganda. It attracts attention, but is not yet worried about NATO. Exercises “Combat brotherhood” has mainly focused on the former Soviet republics, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In the big maneuvers “Center 2019” this year participated even India, China and Pakistan, all nuclear powers.But when the Norwegians beat the alarm, everything appears in a different light. This country is a NATO member in the North-Eastern flank of the Alliance, in principle, not prone to alarmism. But a couple of weeks ago, the Norwegians found ten Russian submarines: six took positions at Bear island, between Svalbard and Finnmark, the northernmost area of mainland Norway. The other cruised at the same time the Barents and Norwegian sea. About the alleged reason for such actions of the Norwegian military intelligence service told through the broadcasting service NRK following: submarines allegedly sank to great depths in the Atlantic, to test how far they can quietly move to the West. Everything happens in the course of routine manoeuvres, but on a scale not seen since the end of the cold war. Decisions are made at the highest level. What signal is sent to the world is clear: Russia is ready to defend, and its submarines are able at any time to threaten the U.S. East coast. Reaction from Moscow on this message are not followed.The exercises were held — perhaps by chance — only a few weeks after the accident at the deep-sea submarine “Losharik” that occurred on 1 July in the Barents sea. Titanium craft that can dive to incredible depths up to six kilometers, could reach the transatlantic cable, which is used for the connection between Europe and America. During a fire in the battery compartment killed fourteen highly qualified naval officers of high rank, a boat with a brief designation of the al-31 was severely damaged. The wreck of this boat led to the fact that Russia has lost a valuable tool of its hybrid way of war. More important was for Moscow to reiterate its underwater strike force.Whether we are talking about some records or not, but the activity of Russian submarines in the far North are not uncommon. For several years, NATO has been watching Russian submarines, the military forces become increasingly and significantly expand its radius of action in the Black sea, the Baltic sea, under the ice of the Arctic, down to the Atlantic. Exercise “Ocean shield 2019” confirmed, according to Western observers, Russian ability to quickly deploy a large naval units to block the approaches to the Baltic and to break the line anti-submarine defence of NATO between Greenland, Iceland and the UK.About “demonstrative call” speaking on the sidelines of the headquarters of NATO in Brussels. Three years ago the commander of us naval forces in Europe Admiral James G. Foggo (James G. Foggo) even wrote about “fourth battle of the Atlantic”. Probably so far in NATO did not go nobody. Because of the confrontation with the Americans in control of the Atlantic, as during the cold war with the Soviets, the last Russian military doctrine from the 2015 still has not said anything. And submarines of the enemy will not get any in droves to lay low off the East coast of America as it was during the Second world war. Nevertheless, NATO and its members, in the forefront of the United States, created a new command for the Atlantic. They often conduct exercises, patrolling the waters and re-invest after several years of inactivity, the ASW system. All this is due to no panic and no excessive lobbying Western defense companies. Aside from the Hollywood ideas about the decisive battle in the North Atlantic, the Russian submarines have become the main backbone of the Russian ambitions at sea. The idea is to challenge every potential enemy in the adjoining seas, is sensitive to limit the space of action, as well as access to raw resources in the Russian offshore in the far North. And in any case the member States of NATO — a potential enemy number one.Despite the fact that the Russian Navy is outdated and in General looks just a shadow of its Soviet predecessor, its submarines once again constitute an effective tool and are a dangerous opponent in many different aspects. The Central place is occupied by submarines, equipped with nuclear weapons. Some of them in difficult years for Russia lying on a beach like a dead whale, but then was reactivated and modernized. They both were, and remain for Russia, the guarantors of the fact that it can inflict a retaliatory nuclear strike. This applies in particular to the submarines of class “Northwind”, which are now under construction. Three ships have already been commissioned, the fourth being tested. It is believed that they can stay under water for months and is able to get away from the enemy even if he has already determined their approximate location. Each boat has on Board 16 Intercontinental missiles, able to carry up to six nuclear warheads capacity of 150 kilotons each. There is information that these warheads are designed so that when approaching a given area, they disintegrate and can hit up to 72 targets within a radius of 8,000 kilometers. The explosive force of each charge exceeds the power of the bomb detonated over Hiroshima, ten times.In addition to the class “Northwind”, under construction is another class submarines “Ash”, which is using 32 nuclear cruise missiles could do much damage. From this class the fleet passed until only one boat. Estimates on the range of these missiles vary. However, experts are unanimous in the opinion that the cruise missiles “Caliber” sea basing can cover distances from 1500 to 4500 kilometers. This also explains why Russian does not necessarily seek to penetrate far into the Atlantic. “In the event of a serious crisis, Moscow will be enough to submarines took up positions between Greenland and Iceland and in the Norwegian sea,” says Magnus Nordeman (Magnus Nordenman), Swedish expert on submarine and the author of several books. He is confident: “There are Russian can reach all goals of importance to them”. Thus, according to him, is not taken into account the potential danger posed by the “Poseidon”.This name called unmanned underwater vehicle, equipped with a nuclear power plant. They should be armed with some Russian submarines. Testing of this device is supposedly going through now. And if in this case we are not talking about propaganda invention of the Kremlin, NATO before these weapons are powerless. Fully automatic torpedo allegedly carries a nuclear charge capacity of several hundred megatons. In addition, it was alleged that she will be able to move at a speed of 200 kilometers per hour at depths up to 1000 meters and has a range of up to 10 thousand kilometers. Russian submarine will thus be able to hit from their territorial waters any target in the area of NATO. There is concern that coastal areas and naval bases of the enemy will be able to select or be washed away by the tsunami, or incinerated in nuclear fire.In addition to the offensive nuclear weapons of the Russian submarines could cause damage to NATO and other means. Nearly 40 anti-submarine submarines with atomic engines will cover their own missile boats and, in addition, can seriously interfere with the navigation of the enemy. In addition, Moscow in the field of asymmetric warfare has such capabilities in the conduct of underwater operations outside of armed conflict can cause great damage. The main management of deep-sea research (GOOGIE), a kind of shadow war fleet of the Kremlin, has a range of special submarines. These include the already mentioned “Losharik”, which was a huge danger for Internet cables in the Atlantic and in the Baltic sea and is likely to present this risk in the future. Across the underwater network, according to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, from 282 cable systems with a total length of 1.23 million kilometers, there is 90% of the international data exchange. The fact that the opponent will have the opportunity to read information or even to cut the cables, which for the most part without any protection lying on the sea bottom, seen in NATO with great concern. Because if one day a beam of parallel runs of cables in the Atlantic would be cut, communication on the Internet between America and vast regions of Europe for an indefinite time will be interrupted. By the way, the Russian Navy still ensure that traditional methods of communication — for example, flag or light signals — remained in the digital age and the sailors owned them.The end of a new confrontation between Russia and NATO on the sea, from the point of view of a specialist on submarines of Nordeman not yet in sight. This applies primarily to the Baltic sea with its intense Maritime traffic, where several coastal States, such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and the Baltic countries, ensure safety of their territorial waters and freedom of navigation. Russian interests have also taken into account, because there is a dangerous conflict region, where, in addition to far-reaching ambitions, intersected several zones of interest. This applies primarily to the communications between the Russian continental port, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The way there from St. Petersburg leads directly through the coastal waters of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This way plays for the Russian Navy and stationed in the exclave parts, including those equipped with ballistic nuclear missiles — a vital role. Expert recommends Nordeman and for this reason both sides, Russia and NATO must resume daily communication between fleets. As he says, during the cold war it was something taken for granted to prevent dangerous misunderstandings. Today is nothing like that. And with the submerged boat, which is fully operational, negotiations will fail.

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