This incident shows that US military is well aware of the Russian Pacific Fleet’s flaws

Virginia class submarine
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A Russian naval vessel chased away a US submarine in Russian waters in the Pacific after the submarine ignored the ship’s orders for it to surface.

On February 12, a significant and troubling event occurred. A US nuclear submarine crossed Russia’s maritime borders and secretly observed the Pacific Fleet’s drill. After being discovered, the nuclear submarine did not respond to the command to surface and did not leave until the Russian side used some “special equipment” on it.

The incident was described by the Russian Defense Ministry as a danger to national security. This is accurate since cruise missiles carried by US nuclear submarines have nuclear warheads with a range of 2,000 kilometres, capable of striking a Siberian strategic missile installation directly.

Originally, the Russian Navy was engaged in the greatest military exercise in recent history, with numerous fleets operating in its domain, including the Pacific Ocean. Surprisingly, a multi-purpose US Virginia-class nuclear submarine was detected monitoring in Russian territorial seas during the drill near the Kuril Islands. The Russian army quickly informed the Americans with the following information: You are in Russian waters, get out now!

The Virginia-class nuclear submarine did not surface and rejected the warning order, and the Russian frigate “Marshal Shaposhnikov” arrived and deployed certain special measures on the Virginia, forcing it to flee. The Russian Defense Ministry sent a message to the US military attaché following the event.

So why is this event so important?

On the eastern front, Russia’s potential rivals include Japan and the United States, with whom it has territorial disputes in the Kuril Islands. To understand the depth of the problem, here are some some details

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has two light aircraft carriers, two helicopter carriers, 12 large destroyers, 29 medium destroyers, 6 frigates and 21 diesel-electric submarines as well as a large number of modern fighter and anti-submarine aircraft. In addition, the U.S. Seventh Fleet is also stationed in Japan, including a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, two Ticonderoga-class cruisers, seven Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and the flagship USS Mount Whitney, 4 amphibious assault ships, 2 minesweepers and 3 Los Angeles-class multipurpose nuclear submarines. Not to mention the US Seventh Fleet, the surface power of the Sea of ​​Japan alone has surpassed the Russian Pacific Fleet.

Russian pacific fleet
Russian pacific fleet

Russia’s maritime force is limited; the surface navy is in disorganization, with virtually no ships available. The Varyag guided-missile cruiser and the anti-submarine ship Vice-Admiral Kulako are now patrolling at Mediterranean sea. You must know that the “Varyag” guided missile cruiser is 30 years old. The anti-submarine ship Kulako with a displacement of nearly 7,500 tons will be repaired and deeply upgraded, which will take at least more than a year. Among the large surface ships in the Pacific, the Russian Navy has only one project 956 Sovremenny class destroyer which is also old, one “Marshal Shaposhnikov” frigate, and The anti-submarine destroyer “Admiral Pantleyev” of the same class, the project is still awaiting modernization. The “Admiral Pantleyev” anti-submarine destroyer is also almost 30 years old.

There are also some modern frigate projects 20380 and 20385. Unfortunately, a nearly completed frigate “Agile”, which was intended for the Pacific Fleet, was recently burned at the Northern Shipyard.

When it comes to the weakness of the Pacific Fleet’s lack of surface ships, some emphasize that it has many submarines. In fact, according to data. The Pacific Fleet is strategically important to Russia’s security because it has strategic nuclear submarines that carry ICBMs and nuclear warheads. Currently, there are 4 Borei-class ships: K-44 “Riazan”, K-550 “Alexander Nevsky”, K-551 “Vladimir Monomakh” and K-552″ Prince Oleg”. Two other Borei-class ships are under construction for the Pacific Fleet – Admiral Suvorov and Alexander III are also nearing service.

In addition to nuclear submarines, the Pacific Fleet has various projects of multi-purpose conventional submarines and diesel-electric submarines. It is believed that once these nuclear submarines come out, they can cover Tokyo and Washington at the same time.

But there are some problems. The US military is also very aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian Pacific Fleet. To offset the strike capability of Russian submarines, the Japanese and Americans built the most powerful anti-submarine forces in the region: a large number of anti-submarine aircraft, multi-role destroyers and frigates, aircraft carriers and their anti-submarine helicopters, and other submarine-hunting ships.

In particular, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet has 3 Los Angeles-class multi-purpose nuclear submarines that can conduct reconnaissance, strike surface ships and other submarines, conduct special operations, etc., but this time there is a completely different US submarine Virginia-class near the Kuril Islands.

The primary objective of the Virginia-class nuclear submarines is to hunt submarines. As such, its main armament is the torpedo, with up to 26 torpedoes in four tubes. In addition, in a recent modification, this type of submarine is equipped with 12 Tomahawk cruise missile. So what does it mean to send a Hunter submarine that is not part of the U.S. 7th Fleet arrived to a Russian naval exercise area?

The Pentagon has demonstrated its capacity to immediately eliminate the Russian Pacific Fleet’s undersea portion, as well as its strategic nuclear submarine capabilities, which had become used to threatening Moscow. That appears to be a very terrible warning for Russia, especially taking into account the disagreement with NATO and the battle with Washington. In front of the Kremlin, the Americans mentioned a hypothetical “Eastern Front,” thereby pushing the Russian Navy to the Pacific from Mediterranean Sea.

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