The Russkis Were Chillin on the Gulf Coast….Bet you didnt know that
An Free Beacon article (found here ) recently advised that a Russian Navy Akula-class submarine was just in the Gulf of Mexico. No big deal. Its a big place. However, the Akula was there for a long time apparently (weeks not days) and (wait for it)….nobody but the Russians knew that it had even shown up.
You see back in the 1980s and 90s we had a SOSSUS net that tracked everything in the Atlantic, keepiing an eye on every Soviet boat. We had SSN’s off Murmansk watching for when they left and came back. We had a line of sonobouys, P-3 Orions, Nimrods, and frigates watching the GIUK gap.
That’s all gone now. The Navy and NATO doesn’t have to worry about all that these days.
Background on the Akula-class:
Project 971 ????-? (Shchuka-B, ‘Shchuka’ meaning pike, NATO reporting name “Akula“), is a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) first deployed by the Soviet Navy in 1986. There are four sub-classes or flights of Shchuka, totaling some 15 submarines built between 1984 and 2001. The Russians still maintain 9 of them while India is playing with a single boat.
The 13,800-ton (submerged), 370-foot long Akula is a very large attack submarine. For reference that is about the size of a WWII heavy cruiser or a 1900-era battleship. They are twice the size of the US 1970s era Sturgeon SSN class submarines. They carry upto 40-torpedoes in eight tubes, 4 × 533mm torpedo tubes (28 torpedoes) and 4 × 650mm torpedo tubes (12 torpedoes). With advanced sonars and a high speed they can speed at over 35-knots, remain submerged until they run out of groceries (about 100 days) and dive to over 1800-feet deep.
They are killers. Akula means shark. With 40 advanced torps even one of these boats could (if things ever went bad) cause a panic in the Gulf, close down the Panama Canal, the mouth of the Mississippi River, strike at vulnerable LNG or Oil platforms, sink newly built LHA, LPD, DDG and NSCs on sea trials from Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula, trail US SSBNs leaving Kings Bay, or lie in wait for a nice big carrier calling at Mayport, or Jacksonville.
Of course, I am just paranoid.
None of that would ever happen, right?
By the way, Hugo Chavez wants an Akula of his own..(Link here)
And the US Navy just commissioned the newest Virgina class SSN in……Pascagoula…