NATO forces organized ‘a hunt’ of a nuclear Russian submarine in the Barents Sea

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MOSCOW, (BM) – NATO ships made an attempt to “take the pincers” of the Russian submarine in the waters of the Barents Sea, according to the Nation-news resource on September 12, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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Several ships from the USA, Great Britain and Sweden, supported by a Danish aircraft, attempted to block the movement of a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. It is also reported that a silent American submarine Seawolf may be in the provocation zone.

It is noted that the Russian submarine, which was “hunted” by NATO forces, is equipped with nuclear warheads and means of delivering them with Poseidon torpedoes. The American submarine, in turn, has Harpoon torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles in its arsenal.

A similar incident is also reported in May 2020 in waters belonging to the Northern Sea Route. And also about the flight of a group of NATO bombers over the waters of the East Siberian Sea.

Such actions are assessed by the National Center for Defense Management of the Russian Federation as provocative.

US and British Navy maneuvers into Barents Sea are a signal to Moscow

For the first time since the mid-80s, under the supervision of the Russian fleet, four American and one British ship entered the Barents Sea, which indicates a growing intensity of the confrontation between the great powers in the Arctic, writes The Washington Times.

According to the newspaper, the purpose of this operation was to send a signal to Moscow, as well as to check the readiness of the Navy for action in any weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Norwegian officials refused to participate in this British-American operation – which speaks of its “provocative essence.”

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According to officials of the US Navy, these exercises are necessary in order for the US armed forces to be ready to operate in various climatic conditions, including in the Arctic. However, the Trump administration does not particularly hide its intentions to repulse other states – mainly Russia, but also assertive China – that are trying to establish control over strategically important Arctic territories.

As expected, Moscow was not happy about the joint British-American operation. Russian media reported that the Northern Fleet is actively monitoring American and British ships in the Barents Sea.

So far, there have been no reports of close contact between Russian and American ships – as well as news of high-profile statements by senior Russian officials. However, as The Washington Times notes, recalling that it carefully monitors what is happening, Moscow sent a clear signal that it considers this Arctic territory to be its own.

According to American officials, on May 1, they notified Russia of an impending operation in order to avoid an “unintentional exacerbation.”

“Now, in these difficult times, it is more important than ever that we support an ongoing series of operations at the European theater, while taking reasonable measures to protect the health of our troops,” said US Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti. “We are still going to actively act for the benefit of regional security and stability, building trusting relationships and strengthening the foundation of combat readiness in the Arctic.”

Nevertheless, military analysts warn that the United States may seriously lag behind in the race for resources and trade routes in the Arctic, where with the melting of ice, many areas become more accessible for human activities.

Meanwhile, Norwegian officials said that although they support the allied operation, they did not allow their sailors to take part in it – which speaks of the “provocative essence” of the US Navy mission.

Read more: The US has made an unexpected gift to Russia in the Barents Sea

The United States has not conducted operations in the Barents Sea since the mid-80s. According to US officials, the decision to resume operations there was made because “the naval forces of allies and partners must be able to operate effectively in all operating environments in order to guarantee security and access to all seas.”

For the Trump administration, these exercises are a concrete step designed to confirm its policy of containing Russia. Speaking at a meeting of the Arctic Council last May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Moscow was obviously going to use its military power to establish tighter control over the region.

“Moscow already makes illegal demands that other countries request permission to enter. It requires the presence of Russian pilots on board foreign ships, threatening to resort to military force in order to sink any ship that refuses this,” said Pompeo. – “Such provocative actions are an element of an aggressive pattern of Russia’s behavior in the Arctic. Russia already leaves traces of its army boots in the snow.”

US nuclear submarine successfully completed secret tasks in the Barents Sea

The USS Albany (SSN-753) US multipurpose nuclear submarine of the Los Angeles type completed secret tasks on May 25 this year in the Barents and Norwegian Seas and returned to the British naval base Clyde.

It is noted that USS Albany has successfully completed its tasks in the Norwegian and Western Barents Seas. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the submarine left Clyde base on March 17th.

We add that on May 4, US and British naval ships carrying cruise missiles entered the Barents Sea “to strengthen the foundation of their combat readiness in the Arctic.”

On May 8, it became known that the NATO squadron, which included three U.S. Navy destroyers of the Arly Burke class, Donald Cook (DDG-75), Porter (DDG-78) and Roosevelt (DDG-80) , as well as the frigate “Kent” (F78) of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, left the Barents Sea.

The ships were escorted by the American high-speed supply battle ship T-AOE-6. The US Sixth Fleet press service noted that the operation in the Barents Sea was part of anti-submarine combat training conducted on ships over the past month.

Read more: China: Russian and US submarines are transforming global defense strategies

The operation of American surface ships in the Barents Sea was aimed at counteracting the actions of Russian submarines of the Northern Fleet in close proximity to their permanent bases on the Kola Peninsula.

Russian multipurpose nuclear submarine will have a Kalibr-M cruise missile

TASS, citing a source in the military-industrial complex, reports on September 2 that the new project 885 M Yasen-M multipurpose nuclear submarine will have a new Kalibr-M cruise missile. It will have a significantly greater flight range than the base model – over 4 thousand kilometers.

It must be said that the Novator design bureau in Yekaterinburg will have ample time to make a rocket by the start of testing a new submarine. It is the new one, although it differs from the Ash tree that has been in operation in the Northern Fleet for six years only by the letter “M”, which means “modernized”.

True, not all Yaseni-Ms will be armed with the new missile, the source claims. Naturally, Kazan, which is now undergoing factory tests, will not have it. Nor will it be on the “Novosibirsk”, which is preparing for mooring trials. And also at the “Krasnoyarsk”, “Arkhangelsk”, “Perm” and “Ulyanovsk” under construction.

“Calibr-M” will arm two boats laid down at Sevmash on July 20, 2020 – “Voronezh” and “Vladivostok”. That is, the 7th and 8th boats of the modernized series. Their launching is scheduled for December 2025 (Voronezh) and December 2026 (Vladivostok). They are to be handed over to the Navy in 2027 and in 2028. Voronezh will go to the Northern Fleet, Vladivostok to the Pacific Fleet.

They started talking about the modernization of “Caliber” in order to increase the flight range back in 2018. It was reported that research is underway. And that the projected range of the missile should increase from 2600 km to 4500 km. And they added that the missile warhead would reach a ton. It is quite clear that two such increments at once are unlikely according to the laws of physics.

In 2019, the process of creating a rocket has become more complicated. If earlier it was intended exclusively for use on surface ships and submarines, then in connection with the withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, a ground-based medium-range missile was needed.

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And another important point. The Caliber-M should be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads. The power of the nuclear warhead is not reported. At the same time, it is extremely important – whether it will be a strategic charge of tens or even hundreds of kilotons, or tactical with a power not exceeding 5-10 kilotons. If this is the first, strategic, option, then it will be necessary to adjust the redistribution of nuclear warheads, the total number of which is regulated by the strategic arms treaty.

However, this agreement, judging by the statements of the US State Department, can be destroyed. Unilaterally, which will immediately entail the withdrawal from it and Russia.

That is, the Yasen-M multipurpose boats will actually become strategic submarine missile carriers. Moreover, it may happen that their strike potential will be higher than that of the Project 955 Borei SSBNs. Borey is equipped with 16 Bulava ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. The Yasen-M can carry 50 Kalibr cruise missiles. True, the modified missiles will enter less – 40.

This is because the Caliber-M hull will be enlarged to accommodate more fuel. According to existing information, the missile diameter has been increased from 533 mm (standard for both the launcher and torpedo tubes) to 670 mm. And this is the diameter of the Onyx supersonic anti-ship missile. The modified boat carries 40 Onyxes in vertical launchers.

It is quite understandable that the speed characteristics of the Caliber will be carried over to the Caliber-M. That is, it will be a subsonic rocket capable of developing a supersonic speed of about 2.7-2.9 M. in the final section of the route.

A source told TASS that “the new multipurpose submarines will be carriers of fundamentally new “Calibr-M ” with a firing range of over 4 thousand km. The new submarines will be better prepared for the mission of non-nuclear strategic deterrence than their predecessors. Of course, if nuclear warheads are not “screwed” onto the missiles.

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It must be said that the term “non-nuclear strategic deterrence” (NSS), which appeared relatively recently, has not yet “crystallized”. That is, there are no clear criteria. Therefore, the arsenal of such deterrence is extensive – from diplomatic influence in order to make the enemy think again and economic pressure to delivering devastating non-nuclear strikes with the help of the army.

The TASS source meant the use of force on the enemy. And it is the more effective, the less the enemy has the ability to stop him. The concept of the NSS began to be actively promoted by the military with the advent of high-precision weapons with a large strategic range. These weapons primarily include sea-based missile weapons – American Tomahawks and Russian Calibers. And also aviation cruise missiles – Kh-55 and Kh-101. The United States has nothing special to oppose.

However, with the development of missile defense systems, the relevance of the above weapons has somewhat decreased. And rockets came to the fore, which with almost one hundred percent probability are capable of reaching the target. This is the Iskander-M OTRK. And also maneuvering hypersonic or near-hypersonic missiles. Introduced into service “Dagger”. Aviation missile Kh-32. And also the sea-based anti-ship missile “Zircon”, the tests of which are coming to an end. And the carrier of this missile will be the Yasen-M submarine. Probably, these will be the same boats that will receive the Caliber-M – Voronezh and Vladivostok. But maybe some previous boats, for example, “Perm” and “Ulyanovsk”. After all, “Zircon”, in contrast to “Caliber-M”, already exists not only in blueprints, but also in hardware.

However, if we compare the “Caliber-M” with the “Tomahawk”, then the Russian missile has a much greater potential for the NSS. The range is almost 2 times greater. And also the speed when entering the enemy’s missile defense zone should increase to almost 3 M. So it is impossible to disagree with the TASS source: “The new submarines will be better prepared for the mission of non-nuclear strategic deterrence in comparison with their predecessors.”

However, this upgrade of the boat’s status should not be due to the new missile alone. More precisely two, the first of which should still be “Zircon”. The quality of “Ash-M” itself has significantly advanced in relation to “Ash”.

Read more: American silent sea wolf tracks the tests of a new Russian submarine

A lot has changed on the new boat. Equipment has been strengthened, primarily electronic. The contours were changed, measures were taken to further reduce noise. And now in this most important parameter “Ash-M” surpasses the American multipurpose “Virginia”. But at the same time, it is slightly inferior to Seawulf, in the creation of which the Americans have invested enormous funds. That is why only three such superboats were built.

The hydroacoustic system (GAS) on the Yasene-M is built on a more progressive principle, which implies an increase in sensitivity and selectivity. For this, the designers of the Malakhit Design Bureau have radically changed the layout of equipment and weapons. The front of the boat is freed from torpedo tubes. For the first time in the history of the submarine fleet, they were shifted to the center. The vacated space was given over to sonar equipment, both passive and active. In addition to the bow antenna, the Irtysh-Amphora GAS uses two more, located on the sides of the boat.

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