“If tomorrow is a naval war, then the US is not ready for it”

Irina Alshaeva

The US Navy has created a destroyer ta-sk force called Gre-yhound to counter Russi-an submarines in the Atlantic. Gazeta.Ru was looking into the reasons for the reconstruction of the Second Fleet of the American Navy, which will be replenished with these destroyers, and why Russian submarines are sent on Atlantic voyages.

“Ships Greyhound will be ready to perform a whole range of tasks, including tracking Russia’s underwater activity in the Atlantic and defending our country’s territory from the sea,” the website of the US Naval Institute quotes the words of the commander of surface forces in the Atlantic, Rear Admiral Brendan McLain.

According to the British newspaper The Times , which cites its own sources in the intelligence services of the United Kingdom, NATO forces are currently not always able to detect Russian submarines in the Atlantic.

“The most advanced Russian nuclear-powered submarines are increasingly stealthily passing through the anti-submarine defense line between Greenland, Iceland and the UK (GIUK Gap), a naval geostrategic section located north of Scotland, and heading towards the US coast,” writes The Times.

Direct interests in the Atlantic

The US Navy’s Second Fleet was recreated in 2018. During the Cold War, it opposed Soviet submarines in the Atlantic and was disbanded after the collapse of the USSR.

“During the Cold War, the composition of the Second Fleet was numerous – it included anti-submarine warfare means, an aircraft carrier strike group, barrier lines of hydroacoustic buoys, which completely blocked the exits to the North Atlantic from the seas adjacent to the USSR,” the editor-in-chief told Gazeta.Ru magazine “Arsenal of the Fatherland”, member of the expert council of the Military-Industrial Collegium Viktor Murakhovsky . – In recent years, the Americans, apparently, were worried about the regular campaigns of Russian submarines in the North Atlantic and decided to recreate the Second Fleet, but at first there were no operational ship formations in the form of headquarters structures that were based on the coast. Now they are creating permanent operational formations with the tasks of anti-submarine warfare, the basis of which are destroyers of the Arlie Burke type.

Arlie Burke is a type of destroyer with guided missile weapons. Destroyers Donald Cook and Thomas Hudner will first enter Gr-eyhound, destroyer Sulliv-ans will join them in Jan-uary 2022, and even later, Cole and Gravely. The anti-submarine ship formation will be based at US Navy bases Mayport in Florida and Norfolk in Virginia.

According to Viktor Murakhovsky, Russia’s interests in the Atlantic are connected not only with the containment of NATO countries, but also with ensuring the security of maritime trade.

“Russia has direct interests in the Atlantic – NATO forces operate in this region. In the event of an aggravation of the conflict in the European theater of military operations, this is the Atlantic – the main route for the transfer of forces and means of reinforcement from the national territory of the United States to Eur-ope. Our interest is understandable: it is not only in containing NATO countries in this territory, but also in ensuring the security of international maritime trade, ”the expert said.

Soviet greetings from space

The Russian Navy is sending Project 955 Borey strategic nuclear submarines on Atlantic voyages.

The boat of this project has a steel hull up to 48 millimeters thick, which has an anti-hydroacoustic coating. This layer, together with low-noise engines, makes Borey practically invisible to tracking systems and detection of a potential enemy.

According to Murakhovsky, the Russian submariners have a “gigantic advantage” in matters of the system of space sea reconnaissance and target designation being deployed by Russia.

“The USSR only partially managed to deploy a system of space marine reconnaissance and target designation, only a passive element was brought into space – but even then it had a great effect. A similar Russian system is being deployed today. In addition to the passive part, a radar satellite was launched. Now our submariners will have a gigantic advantage, since they will know the location and course of the ships that are part of the anti-submarine groups, ”Murakhovsky said.

“In the event of a conflict, Russian submarines will operate as part of the fleet, which will be armed with the Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles. And the submarines themselves are equipped with such missiles. They can find destroyers far away, ”military expert Alexei Leonkov told Gazeta.Ru .

According to him, defense construction in America since 1991 has been “worse than ever.” “If tomorrow is a naval war, then the United States is not ready for it,” Leonkov is sure.

“They had many projects to locate our submarines. The Americans made a floating drone, which was supposed to go 1000 miles from the coast and look for Russian submarines, transmit this data to the US fleet, which raised anti-submarine forces and destroyed them. The drone was made, but there is no benefit from it. These projects are useless in real combat. Destroyers are then effective in finding submarines when they know at least the square where the boat is located, ”the expert concluded.

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