Advanced Russian nuclear-powered submarines are emerging from the massive shipyard at Severodvinsk, and diesel-electric and possibly air-independent propulsion boats are being built at the Sudomekh/Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg. How will these submarines be employed, and what weapons will they carry?
In the past, Western intelligence often got it wrong with respect to Soviet submarines. The massive Soviet submarine force peaked at almost 400 units during the Cold War, and throughout those 45 years the West feared those undersea craft would be employed to sever the sea lines of communication (SLOCs) connecting the United States and Western Europe.
1. Norman Polmar and K. J. Moore, Cold War Submarines (Dulles, VA: Brassey’s, 2004), 194–95.
2. Based on N. Polmar discussions with Sergei Kovalev and his deputy, V. P. Semyonov, St. Petersburg, 10–13 May 1994, 6 May 1997.
3. ADM Sandy Woodward, RN, One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1992), 63–65.
4. Woodward, One Hundred Days, 66.
5. Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign against Al Qaeda (New York: Times Books/Henry Holt, 2011), 189.
6. Schmitt and Shanker, Counterstrike.