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This submarine just wrapped up a 30-month deployment

India’s Rs 1.2 lakh crore nuclear submarine project closer to realization

Iran Missile hits own ship in fatal accident

Navy ships head into South China Sea to counter Beijing ‘bullying’

The real hunt for Red October

US Navy should turn to unmanned systems to track and destroy submarines

USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2020-029


After two and a half years away from home, the guided-missile submarine Florida returned to its home port at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, last week

The boat got back on May 9 after an unusually long deployment that saw it supporting operations for U.S. Africa, Central and European Commands, according to a Navy release.

While officials declined to say exactly what Florida was doing during the extensive time it was away, the boat “provided unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities, bringing mission flexibility and unparalleled stealth to the fighting force,” the release states.

Such subs are manned by alternating blue and gold crews, which ran the sub for three-month stints at a time.

Off crews returned to Georgia for training and qualifications, according to Submarine Group 10 spokeswoman Lt. Katie Diener.

“Most submarines don’t operate forward deployed like this for this amount of time, especially without a real home base,” the blue crew commander, Capt. Brian Tothero, said in a statement. “So, after being sort of homeless for the past 30 months, it’s nice to be back in Kings Bay.”

After its 1983 commissioning as a ballistic missile sub, Florida was converted into one of four guided-missile submarines in 2003, according to the Navy release.

Guided-missile subs run on longer operational cycles than other boats and can remain forward deployed longer since they use the Ohio-class dual crew concept.

“A 30-month deployment, however, is not typical for a guided-missile submarine,” Diener said.

Florida kept it moving for much of the 800-plus days it was away from home, with two maintenance stints lasting three to four weeks each conducted at Souda Bay, Greece, and Diego Garcia, Diener said.

Crews also made 11 port visits during the deployment, during which time the boat sailed nearly 100,000 nautical miles and pinned 202 new submariners with their dolphins.

Such boats can host up to 66 special operators and feature extra berthing in the missile compartment to accommodate those personnel, according to the Navy.

Two forward missile tubes on guided-missile subs have been converted into “lock-out chambers,” from which special forces can deploy and reenter the sub

Sub Group 10 commander Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi lauded the Florida’s crews in the Navy release announcing the boat’s homecoming.

“For over 800 days you have stood the watch,” he said. “That’s a true testimony to resiliency, hard work, perseverance and toughness.”



Take a listen to this history

Bremerton  Base Founder Tudor Davis

Please listen to Tudor's remembrances of his life including his WWII experiences.




India’s Rs 1.2 lakh crore nuclear submarine project closer to realization

Nuclear attack submarines will give India a significant strike and area denial capability in the region.


Manu Pubby

, ET Bureau|

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2020, 02.19 PM IST


NEW DELHI: India is taking a crucial step for its Rs 1.2 lakh crore project to produce future nuclear-powered submarines, with top levels of the government processing clearances for the detailed design phase.

The plan to build six advanced attack submarines — to be nuclear powered but armed with conventional missiles and torpedoes — is being monitored closely and the first of the boats could roll out in a decade if things go as per plan.

Sources told ET that the initial design phase for the new boats has progressed successfully and more resources will now be deployed to move to the more complex detailed design and construction — to be undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (Submarine Design Group) with assistance from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The timing of the critical clearances coincides with the pace of current work at the Ship Building Centre (SBC) in Visakhapatnam, where the Arihant class of nucleararmed submarines are being built. Major structural work on the fourth of the class is nearing completion and the centre would be able to take on work for the next generation of vessels as early as next year, if need be. Though this is unlikely as the developmental phase will take longer.

Sources said the second of the Arihant class — the slightly bigger and better-armed INS Arighat — is expected to be commissioned this year, adding teeth to India’s nuclear deterrence. Two follow-on boats after that are likely to enter service before 2024.

This would leave SBC with adequate space and resources to commence building the next generation of nuclear-attack submarines. While the Arihant project took over two decades to fructify, the next generation submarines are likely to progress at half the given time as adequate experience is now available, both in terms of design and construction of nuclear submarines.

As reported by ET, work on the submarine project gained pace last year with a defense public sector unit working on a special metal alloy for the hull and testing of a scale model as part of the design process. The plan to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) kicked off in 2015 when the NDA government gave a go ahead to a long-pending project for the Indian Navy.

India and Russia have also signed a $3 billion deal to lease an advanced nuclear attack submarine that will be fitted with indigenous communication systems and sensors. This submarine will fill in the gap and will be used for crew training before the indigenous boats are pressed into service.

Nuclear attack submarines — powered by a nuclear reactor but armed with conventional weapons — will give India a significant strike and area denial capability in the region. These vessels can remain underwater for months, making them almost impossible to detect and are a big deterrence for enemy vessels. The US Navy operates over 55 nuclear attack submarines. China has at least 10 in service and is rapidly expanding the fleet, including deployments in the Indian Ocean and several port calls to neighboring nations.

The project will enter India to a select league of five nations that have such a capability. The last country to enter this club was China in 1974 with its Han class boats. Details are not known but a new, more powerful nuclear reactor is being designed for the programme as well by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. The INS Arihant and Chakra (on lease from Russia) are the two nuclear-powered submarines currently in service with the navy.   



Iran missile hits own ship in fatal accident

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian missile fired during a training exercise in the Gulf of Oman struck a support vessel near its target, killing 19 Iranian sailors and wounding 15, Iran’s military and state media said Monday, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.


The statement significantly raised the death toll in Sunday’s incident from what was reported just hours earlier, when Iran’s state media said at least one sailor was killed.


The Konarak, a Hendijan-class support ship, which was taking part in the exercise, was too close to a target during an exercise on Sunday when the incident happened, the reports said. The vessel had been putting targets out for other ships to target. The media said the missile struck the vessel accidentally.


The friendly fire incident took place near the port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran, in the Gulf of Oman, state TV said.


A local hospital admitted 12 sailors and treated another three with slight wounds, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.


Iranian media said the Konarak had been overhauled in 2018 and was able to launch sea and anti-ship missiles. The Dutch-made, 47-meter (155-foot) vessel was in service since 1988 and had capacity of 40 tons. It usually carries a crew of 20 sailors

Map shows location where Iranian missile accidentally strikes own ship Konarak; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;


Iran towed the Konarak into a nearby naval base after the strike. A photograph released by the Iranian army showed burn marks and some damage to the vessel, though the military did not immediately offer detailed photographs of the site of the missile’s impact.


Iran regularly holds exercises in the region, which is close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world’s oil passes. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which monitors the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iranian media rarely report on mishaps during exercises by the country’s armed forces, signaling the severity of the incident. It also comes amid months of heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and imposed crushing sanctions on the country.

It marks the second serious incident involving a misfired missile by Iran’s armed forces this year. In January, after attacking U.S. forces in Iraq with ballistic missiles, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 people on board















Navy ships head into South China Sea to counter Beijing ‘bullying’


The real hunt for Red October: Major US operation to track deadly Russian subs lasted for weeks off the East Coast but found nothing as US Navy warns the waters are no longer a 'safe haven'


The U.S. Navy has spent weeks trawling the North Atlantic in the hunt for a deadly Russian submarine that was known to have deployed into the waters off the East Coast of the United States.


The Yasen Class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines (SSGN) represents the most modern and potent Russian submarines are and widely regarded as being similar to the latest Western submarinesThe Project 885 Yasen class guided missile submarine Severodvinsk is built from the very latest in Russian technology and was thought to be just a few hundred miles away from the North American coastline in the fall of 2019.


Such was the worry of the U.S. military, the search involved a large number of Navy submarines, ships, and maritime patrol aircraft, all of which proved fruitless after the sub remained undetected throughout, according to The Drive.


The vessel, which can carry up to 40 Kalibr missiles, among other weapons, is known for having an especially low acoustic signature and proves especially difficult to pick up on all manner of sophisticated detection equipment including Sonar. 


The worry from Navy commanders was the possible presence of nuclear missiles with a possible range of up to 1,600 miles being so close to the U.S. mainland. 


News of the essentially failed mission comes as U.S. Sailors have been warned to be on alert as they sail to and from ports along the Eastern seaboard and to no longer assume the Atlantic Ocean is a 'safe haven'.

The unsettling warning came earlier this week from Vice Admiral Andrew 'Woody' Lewis, the current commander of the United States Second Fleet and NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic.

Lewis says the issue is a rise in the number of increasingly deadly Russian submarines patrolling the East Coast - the same waters the Navy operate out of.


The homeland is not a sanctuary. Sailors can expect to be operating in a contested space once they leave Norfolk,' Lewis said during a maritime security event on Tuesday at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

'Over the last 20 years, most of the time we got underway from Norfolk in order to operate somewhere else, not in the Atlantic,' Lewis said. 'Our ships can no longer expect to operate in a safe haven off the east coast or merely cross the Atlantic unhindered to operate in another location don't have to look hard to see that the world is only getting more comp

'Real world requirements do not discriminate. The intelligence ship did not care at what phase of training our ships were in or if it had achieved its full certification.'

The Russian ship, the Viktor Leonov, was operating in an 'unsafe manner' off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia according to the Military Times. ^




US Navy should turn to unmanned systems to track and destroy submarines



Defense News

Anti-submarine warfare, or ASW, is one of a navy’s most difficult missions. Sonars detect submarines with only a fraction of the range and precision possible using radars or visual sensors against ships above the water. Submarines can carry missiles able to hit targets hundreds of miles away, requiring searches to cover potentially vast areas. And the torpedoes that aircraft and surface ships use to sink submarines need to be dropped right on the submarine to have any chance of sinking it.



hese challenges led the Cold War-era U.S. Navy to rely on a sequential approach for tracking enemy submarines. Electronic or visual intelligence sources would report when an opposing sub was leaving port, and it would hopefully get picked up by sound surveillance, or SOSUS — sonar arrays on the sea floor — as it entered chokepoints, like that between Iceland and the United Kingdom.


Patrol aircraft would then attempt to track the submarine using sonar-equipped buoys, or sonobuoys, and eventually turn it over to a U.S. nuclear attack submarine, or SSN, for long-term trail.


The U.S. ASW model broke down, however, in the decades following the Cold War as U.S. submarine and patrol aircraft fleets shrank, the Chinese submarine fleet grew, and Russian submarines became quieter. Today, the U.S. Navy devotes enormous effort to tracking each modern Russian submarine in the western Atlantic.

During the 2000s, the strategy of full-spectrum ASW started an essential shift in goals, from being able to sink submarines when needed to being able to defeat submarines by preventing them from accomplishing their mission.

Full-spectrum ASW and other current concepts, however, still rely on aircraft, ships and submarines for sensing, tracking and attacking enemy submarines to bottle them up near their own coasts or sink them in the open ocean. Although SOSUS has improved since the Cold War and is joined by a family of new deployable seabed arrays, the next link in the U.S. ASW chain is still a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, or a U.S. SSN. These platforms are in short supply around the world, cost hundreds of millions to billions of dollars to buy and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a day to operate.

With defense budgets flattening and likely to decrease in a post-COVID-19 environment, the U.S. Navy cannot afford to continue playing “little kid soccer” in ASW, with multiple aircraft or ships converging to track and destroy submarines before they can get within missile range of targets like aircraft carriers or bases ashore.


The Navy should instead increase the use of unmanned systems in ASW across the board, which cost a fraction to buy and operate compared to their manned counterparts. Unmanned aircraft could deploy sonobuoys or stationary sonar arrays, and unmanned undersea or surface vehicles could tow passive sonar arrays. Unmanned surface vehicles could also deploy low-frequency active sonars like those carried by U.S. undersea surveillance ships that can detect or drive off submarines from dozens of miles away.


Although autonomous platforms will not have the onboard operators of a destroyer or patrol aircraft, improved processing is enabling small autonomous sensors to rapidly identify contacts of interest. Line-of-sight or satellite communications can connect unmanned vehicles and sensors with operators ashore or on manned ASW platforms
A significant shortfall of today’s ASW concepts is “closing the kill chain” by attacking enemy submarines. Air- or surface-launched weapons have short ranges and small warheads that reduce their ability to sink a submarine, but their cost and size prevents them from being purchased and fielded in large numbers.

Unmanned systems could address this shortfall in concert with a new approach to ASW that suppresses enemy submarines rather than destroying them. During World War II and the Cold War, allied navies largely kept submarines at bay through aggressive tracking and harassing attacks, or by forcing opposing SSNs to protect ballistic missile submarines.

The modern version of submarine suppression would include overt sensing operations combined with frequent torpedo or depth-bomb attacks. Although unmanned vehicles frequently launch lethal weapons today under human supervision, the small weapons that would be most useful for submarine suppression could be carried in operationally relevant numbers by medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs or medium unmanned surface vessels. Moreover, the large number and long endurance of unmanned vehicles would enable the tracking and suppressing of many submarines over a wide area at lower risk than using patrol aircraft or destroyers.

Today the U.S. Navy uses unmanned systems in ASW primarily to detect submarines. To affordably conduct peacetime surveillance and effectively defeat submarines in wartime, the Navy should increase the role of unmanned systems. Using manned platforms to conduct command and control, and unmanned vehicles to track, deter and engage submarines, could significantly reduce the costs of ASW operations and enable the Navy to scale its ASW efforts to match the growing threat posed by submarine fleets.

ryan Clark is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is an expert in naval operations, electronic warfare, autonomous systems, military competitions and war gaming.^


USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2020-029


Date: 4/19/2020
To: Distribution List

NEWS-01: USSVI 2020 Convention Information. Extremely important.
Submitted by: Wayne Standerfer, National Commander on 4/19/2020

This bulletin is being sent to make you aware of the actions your National Board of Directors is taking to determine whether our 2020 National Convention will be conducted as planned or rescheduled for a later time. When it became apparent that COVID-19 had started to infiltrate our country, the National Board of Directors and 2020 Convention Committee members began the process of putting a “Plan B” in place to address the possibility of being forced to reschedule our upcoming National Convention.


From the very beginning the major guiding factor for our decision has been the assurance that the health of our aging members and their guests would not be compromised. An additional condition that had to be given consideration was our contract with the host hotel and how they would respond if we decided not to hold our convention during the time frame specified in our agreement.


    Note: National Convention Chairman Richard “Ozzie” Osentoski has negotiated a final decision date of May 15th with the host hotel. A teleconference of the National

    BOD’s and several other convention planning committee members was    conducted on Friday April 17th, with the purpose of discussing what criteria would be used    

    in making a final decision regarding the convention.


   The teleconference closed with an agreement that we would comply with the host hotel’s requested deadline date of May 15th to make our final decision. On May 15th, we

   will reconvene and make the final decision, which will immediately be communicated to the membership. Folks, you can rest assured that the paramount factor in our

    decision will be the minimization of any potential exposure that could be damaging to your health.

   Let me emphasize: The National BOD’s voting members will be the ones that make this decision and there are reasons this deadline of May 15th must be observed, 

   specifically complying with the host hotel’s request.

  Wishing all of you only the best and please stay safe,

Wayne Standerfer
USSVI National Commander

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