India To Build Two More Nuclear
India Defence News, February 29
As the induction of the first locally built Indian
nuclear powered submarine, INS Arihant is almost
complete, the Indian government has decided to build two
more of its type. Right now, only five superpowers,
including U.S., Russia, France, Germany and UK are
having locally built nuclear submarines. India is
expected to join the elite league within a short time,
as the trials are almost completed for the INS Arihant.
INS Arihant, which is the first nuclear powered
submarine of the Arihant class submarine genus, was
fully developed by the Indian agency Defence Research
and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is expected to
complete its marine trials by early next year. The
Indian Navy’s capabilities are already boosted
significantly, after they recently inducted the Russian
built INS Chakra in to its fold. However defence sources
were sceptical whether the Indian Navy was technically
advanced enough to operate two additional nuclear
submarines without overstretching the resources.
Nuclear powered submarines are extremely difficult to
detect through normal ship based sonars and other
equipment. They can remain under water for as many as
100 days continuously, and they hardly emit any sound
waves which can be detected by the enemy warships.
The news from India is significant, as many of their
neighbours are also trying to build nuclear powered
submarines. Defence experts believe that China is trying
to develop its first fully indigenous version of the
nuclear powered submarine, which is expected to be
completed soon. It is already operating a number of
nuclear submarines like Type 091 (Han) and Type 092
(Xia), but they are not fully nuclear powered.
The development of INS Arihant took many years and
required a lot of effort from the Indian defence
scientists. The first concrete steps were taken during
1998, when George Fernandes, the then defence minister
gave his approval for the project. The project was
officially launched in July 2009, by the Indian Prime
Minister, Man Mohan Singh
Canada's Submarine Motivations
Progressiveproselytizing.blogspot.com, February 29
Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Canada's top navy guy, has
remarked that Canada will begin the process of vetting
new submarine purchases in three or four years. This
raises anew questions about the purpose of Canada
maintaining a submarine fleet.
After passing through much of the nineties without
submarine capabilities, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
purchased four aging diesel-electric submarine from the
UK. The result was an embarrassing public relations
fiasco for the Royal Canadian Navy. Billions of dollars
in cost overruns, an on-board fire, a crash onto the
Pacific floor, a shockingly low operations rate, and
ultimately - fifteen years after originally signing the
lease-to-own documents - not a single day of combat
ready operations from any of the four submarines. The
worst is behind us for these lemons, we are assured, and
operational duties are expected to continue until 2030.
With the prospect of starting to acquire replacement
submarines within only a few years, the question of
precisely why we need submarines demands a robust and
cogent answer. Here is Maddison's comments:
"In terms of surveillance of our ocean approaches and
the protection of our own sovereignty, I would consider
a submarine capability critical and so to lose that for
a G8 nation, a NATO country like Canada, a country that
continues to lead internationally, and aspires to lead
more, I would consider that a critical loss."
A middle power like Canada aims to have legitimacy and
influence through engagement in the elite multilateral
institutions like the G8 and NATO, where it has more
prominence than in the larger UN body (note Canada's
failure to secure a Security Council seat). The impetus
behind purchasing shiny new submarines and F35's is not
one of a reasoned analysis of domestic security needs,
it is about projecting strength and capabilities so is
to increase the middle power's prominence on a world
stage that ranks itself primarily by military power. The
higher the perception of military capacities, the more
influence and relevance that Canada gets in decisions in
these elite multilateral bodies.
Normally, justification for military spending is couched
in terms of domestic security needs. As in, a certain
capability will defend the country from some set of
outlined potential threats. Analysts are left to
speculate as to the real reasons based on how flimsy the
ostensible defense ones are (such as the alleged defense
needs of the F35 fighter jet). What is so interesting
about Maddison's remarks is how plainly he prioritizes
not domestic security needs, but to maintain relevance
and leadership in international organizations.
One of the hooks that has been used extensively to
justify the F35 fighter jets has been to reference the
need to promote and extend Arctic sovereignty. This is
folly. Canada presently faces precisely zero military
threats to itself along its northern boarder (or any
boarder) and any notion that the F35's are for domestic
defense is nonsense. Yes, there are land claims issues
in the oil rich Arctic ocean which will be settled
through international mediation, but these will not (and
should not) be settled by a show of expensive saber
rattling of military hardware.
A similar Arctic justification has been used regarding
the submarines which can be seen as attempts to project
military power in the Arctic. Plans were made to attempt
retrofits to an air-independent propulsion system that
would allow prolonged under-ice trips but these were
scuttled due to costs and infeasibility. Russia used
mini-subs deployed from surface ships to plant a Russian
flag on the ocean floor at the north pole, a fact that
was by Canada.
The Arctic has genuine needs in the military domain
(such as search and rescue, troop and supply access
vehicles to assist with emergencies, ice breakers and
surveillance capabilities). None of these are best
serviced by either F35 fighter jets or submarines. The
misappropriation of funds to the more shiny and showy
toys is doubly bad when seen in the context of taking
away from these other legitimate and sorely needed
Wikileaks and Iraq:
For Canadians, one of the most interesting revelations
from the Wikileaks cable releases was one about Iraq
that really underlined the relationship between middle
powers like Canada and a great power like the US. While
Jean Chrétien was publicly denouncing the Iraq war for
its like of UN support and - backed by popular opinion
of the Canadian public - opted out of the war, we see
that privately the Canadian government was willing to
offer extensive third party support for the war in terms
of warships, planes, logistical supplies in the like,
provided it was done "discretely" - that is, without
public knowledge and, indeed, in direct contrast to the
message told to the public.
From a Wikileaks cable: "While for domestic reasons…the
GOC (Government of Canada) has decided not to join in a
U.S. coalition of the willing…they are prepared to be as
helpful as possible in the military margins.”
This offer was largely rebuffed by the Americans. The US
didn't need any token assistance from Canada under the
radar, they wanted vocal public support for the war so
as to boost their legitimacy. Canada, on the other hand,
was eager to try and play along and have some token
influence and relevance, just as long as it didn't have
to admit it to its own people it was engaged in the Iraq
war. Submarines are perhaps the epitome of a military
capacity that can be conducted in secret without much
public oversight; it is hardly a stretch to imagine them
being used in a similar way.
UK Prepares For Military Strike
Against Iran: The Sun
Presstv.ir, Feb 26, 2012
The United Kingdom has reportedly drawn up plans to send
hundreds of troops and an extra nuclear submarine to the
Persian Gulf amid escalating war threats against the
"MoD planners went into overdrive at the start of the
year. Conflict is seen as inevitable as long as the
regime (Iran) pursue their nuclear ambitions,” The Sun
quoted a senior Whitehall official as saying on Sunday.
"Britain would be sucked in whether we like it or not,"
the official added.
The report said a military attack against Iran is “a
matter of when not if … with 18 to 24 months the likely
“The UK will first fly an infantry battalion to the
United Arab Emirates, our (UK) strong ally in the
region,” The Sun said. “Further troops could follow if
our other allies Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and
Qatar ask for help.”
The Royal Navy has already gathered seven warships in
the Persian Gulf. HMS Daring - one of its newest and
most powerful destroyers - arrived in the region last
month to join Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll.
Minesweepers Pembroke, Quora, Middleton and Ramsey are
also based in Bahrain and a nuclear submarine is
stationed in the area.
According to the report, a second submarine armed with
Tomahawk cruise missiles will also be deployed in the
region under the UK war plan.
The Royal Air Force is also reportedly planning to send
Typhoon and Tornado Jets to reinforce helicopter and
transport plane crews already stationed in Qatar, Oman,
Bahrain and the UAE.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague once again
stressed last week that "all options must remain on the
table" regarding Iran, repeating Western military
threats against the Islamic Republic.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies
accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its
nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose
international and unilateral sanctions on the Islamic
Republic and to call for a military strike against
Iran has repeatedly refuted Western allegations, arguing
that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear
technology for peaceful purposes.
Don't Assume The Sub Base Is Forever
The Day, Feb 25, 2012
Despite reassurances from outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe
Lieberman, there are reasons to be concerned that the
Pentagon may yet again target the Naval Submarine Base
in Groton for closing. And there are certainly reasons
to be diligent.
While Washington lawmakers are initially showing
resistance to the president's call for beginning a Base
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process (in fact the
administration proposes two, one in 2013 and another in
2015), as pressure increases to address the nation's
growing deficit, Congress will likely embrace sizable
defense cuts and closing bases can achieve them. Expect
an odd coalition of fiscal conservatives and liberals
hoping to save social programs from deep cuts to emerge
and authorize a BRAC.
The process is a dangerous one for lawmakers, who could
find themselves explaining to constituents why they lost
a base in their backyard. Once a base is on the
Pentagon's closure list, it can only be saved if the
independent base closure commission removes it. After
the commission finalizes the list, Congress votes the
entire package up or down. Congress created the process
knowing that without it the party in control would
cherry pick bases in favored districts off the list,
military value aside.
The Groton base avoided closing in 2005 after a
bipartisan effort by state political leaders and their
partners in the private sector persuaded the closure
commission of the base's military value and its
important relationship with submarine manufacturer
In a meeting with our editorial board on Thursday, Sen.
Lieberman, who is not seeking re-election in November,
said he considered the odds of the base finding itself
on a BRAC list as low. Reassuring Sen. Lieberman were
conservations he had with Adm. John Greenert, chief of
naval operations, in which the admiral reiterated the
long-term military importance of the base.
Yet as pressure grows to find ways to trim the growth of
defense spending, the Pentagon may well have to
sacrifice weapon systems and facilities that, while
militarily important, are less important than others.
With the rise of China, attention is shifting to the
Asia-Pacific. The Pentagon could potentially see three
east coast bases as an unaffordable luxury. The other
facilities are the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia.
That's the concern. The good news is that this region is
in a far better position to make a case for the Groton
base than it was during the last BRAC process. Since the
last round of closings more than $150 million has been
spent to improve the facility, including unprecedented
contributions by the state. Connecticut has an Office of
Military Affairs to help make its case, an office that
did not exist last time, and a consulting firm ready to
work Pentagon channels.
More than 30 people Thursday attended a meeting of the
reformed Subase Coalition, showing Connecticut and the
region are ready to take a proactive approach, in
contrast to the scramble to form a coalition after the
surprise news of the base's appearance on the closure
list last time. Rep. Joe Courtney sits on the Armed
Services Committee in the House, Sen. Richard Blumenthal
on the same committee in the Senate.
We would like to learn Sen. Lieberman had it right, the
odds are long and Groton never appears on the closure
list. But as even he cautioned, its best to be prepared
and it appears the state and region are.
Proposed TRICARE Increases
From The Retired Enlisted Association
Our fight to stop the Pentagon’s
proposed TRICARE increases have begun… and you must
be a part of it. Please go to CAPWIZ on TREA’s web site
http://www.capwiz.com/trea/home/ and click on
"OPPOSE THE OUTRAGEOUS TRICARE INCREASES" and send the
message we have created for you.
Canadian Defense Chief Defends
Allvoices.com, Feb 22, 2012
General Walter Natynczyk chief of the Canadian defence
staff was busy defending the Canadian submarine fleet.
He noted the ability of submarines to protect
sovereignty and that it has formidable firepower. It is
just not clear who the firepower would be used against.
The U.S??. THe U.S. does not recognize the northwest
passage as international waters. Are we likely to
Natynczyk together with Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison the
chief of Canada's navy spent about five hours on board a
submarine as the vessel conducted diving trials.
The Canadian submarine program has been under fire since
4 used submarines were bought from the UK in 1998 for
750 million dollars. Ever since most of them have been
in for repairs!
Most recently last June the HMCS Corner Brook damaged
its hull after human error caused it to hit bottom.
Dents prevent it from any deep sea diving.
The submarine involved in the training dives the HMCS
Victoria also spent three years being refitted and
having damage repaired. Even Natynczyk admitted that
there had been problems in the program.
Submarines spent much of their time in repair and crews
had no vessels on which to practice. Repairs have been
quite expensive reportedly costing hundreds of millions
of dollars. No doubt the UK were happy enough to ship
the lemons over to their former colony!
Navy's New Super-Sub Revealed
By Udi Etsion, ynetnews.com, Feb 22, 2012
Foreign media say Israel's navy ready to test advanced,
German-made submarine said to be virtually undetectable
by radar, able to launch nuclear missiles
Israel's "doomsday weapon" revealed? The Navy will soon
begin its test-deployment of Israel's new
super-submarine, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
The report quoted various foreign newspapers as saying
that the new Dolphin-Class submarine's systems will
enable it to spends prolonged periods of time at sea and
fire nuclear missiles.
The submarine, names the "INS Tannin," is also said to
be equipped with special diesel and hydrogen conversion
systems that will allow it to produce its own fuel; as
well as with a stealth system making its acoustic
signature virtually undetectable by sonar.
The INS Tannin ("Alligator") is the namesake of the
Israel Navy's first ever S-Class submarine, which was
retired from active duty in 1972.
According to German media, the Tannin – which will be
supplied by the end of 2012 – is the first of three
super-submarine slated to eventually be deployed by the
Navy. A second super-sub – the INS Rahav ("Splendor")
will arrive in 2014 and the third, which has yet to be
named, by 2015.
Germany's Kieler Nachrichten newspaper said that the
super-sub is the biggest and most advanced underwater
vessel to be constructed in Germany since World War II.
It has also been acquired by the German and Italian
The boatyard where the submarine is under construction
is said to be under heavy guard. A team of Israeli
experts is on-site, assisting their German counterparts.
Submarine Gives Taste Of Mariana
BBC, Feb 22, 2012
Four teams are diving to the deepest part of the ocean,
the Mariana Trench, which lies 11km down in the western
One of them is Triton submarines, a Florida-based
Their team has been in the Bahamas to test out a
prototype submersible, which their full-ocean-depth
model will be based on.
Science reporter Rebecca Morelle joined them for the
sub's first night dive, which was piloted by Patrick
UK Submarine Data De-Classified To Aid
By Paul Rincon, BBC News, Feb 23, 2012
The UK Ministry of Defence is to de-classify submarine
data to help shed light on climate change in the Arctic.
Environmental data are routinely monitored by Navy
vessels, but the measurements are highly sensitive
because they could give away positions.
A dataset from one submarine mission will be released to
give a snapshot of conditions under the ice.
It is hoped that further data could be released in
future, yielding clues to how the Arctic is changing.
Water temperature and salt content are among the
environmental data monitored by submarines.
But only a handful of people have access to such
information because they could be used to track where UK
As part of the Submarine Estimates of Arctic Turbulence
Spectra (SEATS) project, the MoD will release
measurements to researchers at the National Oceanography
Centre (NOC) in Southampton.
NOC scientist John Allen said that, although the exact
positions where readings were taken would remain
classified, if measurements were given generic
classifications they could be used to study physical
attributes of the ocean.
"If you look at a trace of temperature, you can see it
wobbling around. But within that there will be
particular length scales at which it wobbles," he told
"What we can do is to look at whether that changes
depending on whether you are under ice or under open
This, he explained, could tell scientists a lot about
how the Arctic is likely to change as it becomes more
Last year, Arctic sea ice shrank to its second-lowest
level since satellite records began.
Some computer models forecast that the Arctic could be
completely clear of summer sea ice within a decade,
though others recently published say there may be high
years and low years en route to the final disappearance.
The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
has been working with the Natural Environment Research
Council (Nerc) and the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to
prepare the data for use by NOC scientists.
Tim Clarke, a marine scientist with DSTL, said: "What
this represents is the availability of important
scientific data, previously inaccessible, which can only
move the study forward.
He added that "any progress will, ultimately, lead to an
improved oceanographic product" for the Royal Navy.
Dr Allen confirmed that techniques developed on this
project would also feed back into naval operations,
where understanding the ocean environment is vital.
Scientists have previously made trips under the Arctic
aboard nuclear submarines in order to measure ice
But these were dedicated scientific missions;
environmental data collected as part of standard Navy
operations have rarely been released.
Historically, the sea ice was used as cover by
submarines to evade detection by surface ships or
aircraft. And during the Cold War, the Arctic became a
key area for submarine operations in aid of strategic
Sailor assigned to sub Louisiana found
Navy Times, February 21
BANGOR, Wash. — The Navy says a 29-year-old sailor
assigned to a Trident submarine based at Bangor, Wash.,
has been found dead in his quarters.
Submarine Group 9 spokesman Lt. Ed Early tells the
Kitsap Sun that the name of the sailor found Tuesday in
his Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor quarters is being withheld
pending notification of relatives. The cause of death is
Early says the sailor was assigned to the Louisiana’s
The Louisiana is one of eight Trident ballistic missile
submarines assigned to Bangor. They each have two crews
— blue and gold.
Russia resuming nuclear-armed
missions, suggests new Cold War emerging
WND.com, February 22, 2012
WASHINGTON – The recent veto by Russia and China of U.S.
efforts in the United Nations Security Council to
condemn the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad
for its violent treatment of protesters has escalated
tensions between the United States and Russia, which
seeks to maintain its influence in the Middle East by
protecting al-Assad, according to a report in Joseph
Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
It is apparent now that the United States wants al-Assad
ousted as a way to diminish the influence of Syrian ally
Iran in the Middle East.
Russia, on the other hand, has serious equities in
protecting the al-Assad regime through its two major
naval bases in Syria. In addition, Moscow has sold
considerable arms to the Syrian regime.
For these reasons, the Russians saw their investments
threatened and vetoed the UNSC resolution, saying that
it didn’t call for the disarming of the opposition,
which analysts believe has been taken over by the Syrian
The concern is that it raises the potential for a civil
war in Syria. All of this boils down to the Russian
challenge of U.S. supremacy in the Middle East, say
Now, the U.S. has called for an international coalition
to support the opposition by sending arms and money to
back its efforts against the al-Assad regime. Not only
does this prospect team up the U.S. with the Muslim
Brotherhood but also with al-Qaida whose chief, Ayman
al-Zawahiri, has expressed the terrorist group’s support
for the popular unrest in Syria.
Al-Zawahiri also called on Muslims in Turkey, Iraq,
Lebanon and Jordan to back the Syrian rebels against the
al-Assad regime. Not only does this place the U.S. in
bad company, but it reflects the beginning of a new Cold
War between Moscow and Washington for dominance in the
Middle East being fought through proxies such as Syria.
As a sign of the renewal of the Cold War between Moscow
and Washington, the Kremlin has decided to resume
worldwide nuclear submarine patrols.
“On June 1 or a bit later, we will resume constant
patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear
submarines,” according to Russian Navy Cmdr. Admiral
Such patrols of missile-carrying nuclear submarines were
standard operating procedure by the then-Soviet Union at
the height of the Cold War as a sign of nuclear
The patrols were designed to offer a second strike
capability or to put other nuclear powers on edge. At
their height, reports say that the Soviets conducted
some 230 such patrols a year. Now, there are fewer than
10 a year, but they are expected to increase
dramatically as the Russian economy improves, thanks in
part to the escalating oil prices.
According to Russian experts, the Russian navy possesses
some 12 ballistic missile nuclear submarines of the
Delta III and Delta IV classes. By 2020, the Russians
will have another eight new submarines of the Borey