US secretly deployed nuclear SSBN-736 sub off Diego Garcia Island
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has dispatched and deployed its nuclear submarine USS West Virginia [SSBN-736] off Diego Garcia Island. It is located in the Indian Ocean and the submarine has been there since October. However, the Pentagon announced the news only now. This submarine is part of the extended US multi-month deployment.
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SSBN-736 can carry 20 ICBMs. This submarine is of the Ohai class of the US Navy. The US Navy has 14 submarines of this class in its inventory. SSBN-736 is designed to perform a long stay at sea.
The American press also emphasized the word “secret” regarding the deployment of the submarine. Diego Garcia Island is used quite actively by the US and British troops. However, the island is controlled by Mauritius, whose control has been disputed until now, but the international court ordered Britain to hand over control ahead of time. This happened in 2019. The island is located 1600 km south of Hindustan and 1200 km south of the Maldives.
What the reason is?
International experts suggest that the deployment of the submarine, which has traveled this long way to the island of Diego Garcia, is a demonstration of the power and capabilities of the United States. I.e. Washington has demonstrated to “potential adversaries” that it is capable of secretly deploying a ballistic missile submarine in place for an extended period.
However, it is not clear who the warning is aimed at. Russia or China are the likely recipients of the favor, but Washington may be also warning Pyongyang and the regime of Kim Jong Un. It is also quite possible that the warning was addressed to Mauritius, which, in addition to currently controlling the island, also claims it.
The fact is, however, that such a demonstration shows that the US can gather intelligence while leaving its adversaries in the dark. Also, such “secret” foresight greatly increases US nuclear deterrence capabilities. A similar opinion was expressed by the commander of the US Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard.
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