It is an attack scenario that brings concerns to experts more than any before. It seems Russia now has enough undersea power to launch a powerful attack against the U.S. and NATO using fleet nuclear submarines.
When it comes to the west, there seems to be a shift in balance of power underwater. Russia is said to have been rapidly expanding undersea operations with “broader strategy of coercion” aimed towards perceived enemies, the United States and the rest of the NATO alliance.
Even with sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU recently, a new report says that the Russian Navy has managed to effectively shield submarine forces against economic and personnel challenges that have otherwise affected the rest of the Russian military.
According to a new report published by the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Russia is more than ready when it comes to the possibility of attacking enemies from deep under the ocean. In fact, back in 2014, there have been a number of Russian submarine “Loch Ness-like” sightings in Sweden. It was perhaps Russia’s way of expressing displeasure regarding Sweden’s growing relationship with NATO.
During the same year, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy also reported of a possible Russian submarine spotted just off the coast of Faslane in Scotland where the Royal’s Navy’s only submarine base can be found. On April 2015, similar submarine sightings were reported by the Finnish Navy.
Today, the Russian Navy is said to be in possession of as much as 56 submarines. Among these are the Severodvinsk-class nuclear-powered attack submarines, highly regarded by a number of current U.S. admirals.
Russia’s Northern Fleet, the Russian Navy’s biggest fleet, is in possession of about 42 submarines, although open-source analysis has found that only 22 to 31 of them are operational. Nonetheless, Russia’s Northern Fleet utilizes a number of both special mission and auxiliary submarines.
To effectively counter Russia’s aggressive undersea activity, the report recommends that the NATO and allies, particularly Finland and Sweden, must make improvements when it comes to integrated antisubmarine warfare. Moreover, much focus must also be given to the NATO maritime group.
Recently, the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa announced the start of Sea Breeze, an annual exercise co-hosted by the U.S. and Ukraine in the Black Sea done with participation of 13 nations and 2,300 troops. The exercise include anti-submarine warfare.