“The advantage of first strike in the war has never been so huge as it is now. It scares me,” says researcher of the naval school Desk Ulriksen (Ståle Ulriksen).
Newspaper AldriMer.no wrote about a new Russian submarines, which are currently entered in the system. At least 7 of shock submarines of the “Ash” (some sources say 12), 8 strategic submarines of project “Borei” with nuclear missiles and modernization of many old submarine project “Shark”, “Sierra” and “Oscar II” will significantly upgrade the Russian Northern fleet. They will be put on combat watch in the next 5-6 years.
AldriMer.no has contacted a number of military experts, and they mostly agree with the assessment Ulriksen. Some of them spoke anonymously, but the unit commander of the submarines of Olav Dale (Olav Dahle) agreed to an open interview. He also believes that Russian can change the balance of power in the North.
“The Russians came to a completely different technological level, especially against missiles. They have achieved technological parity with the United States, which they previously were not. I agree with Ulriksen that the situation in the North has changed dramatically,” says Olav Dale.
A refutation of the doctrines of the old
Even during the cold war, the question of the so-called GIUK area are very worried about NATO and the Soviet Union. Now this issue is of concern to Russia. Means GIUK Greenland, Iceland and the UK (Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom — approx. TRANS.). NATO wanted to prevent submarines passing through the area and thus out into the Atlantic ocean. The Russians, for their part, wanted to prevent the passing of the Federal courts to ensure the safety of the Northern fleet.
District GIUK is still considered very important, he pays great attention in many plans of NATO. But Ulriksen believes that today there are no real opportunities to detect and stop the submarine.
“The new submarines are much more silent. Therefore, they are difficult to detect. Over time, they will probably be even more silent. In addition, the current NATO’s capabilities to detect submarines in the North Atlantic is relatively weak. Anyway, until then, until there is more Maritime patrol aircraft. But it is also important that the radius of cruise missiles became much more. This means, for example, that Russian became much easier to attack the ships going to Europe with the American reinforcements, in close proximity to major European harbours. They do not need to go far into the Atlantic to sink them. District GIUK was of great importance, but I don’t think he is as important as before,” says Ulriksen.
Many military experts believe that, if these statements are correct, the consequences will be of great importance to Norway. The areas near Norway are potentially important because there is the possibility of detection of submarines after their release from the Kola Peninsula and Murmansk.
“These developments will make the Norwegian sea is more important. It will be interesting in the future to trace the routes of new and modernized Russian submarines. Given the large number of operational submarines, we can assume that the Russian will want to have a more or less continuous presence in the North Atlantic,” adds Ulriksen.
The danger to naval bases and carrier battle groups
Ulriksen also emphasizes that the number of cruise missiles on each submarine is currently very high. In addition, these missiles will be installed for a number of smaller Russian frigates and corvettes.
There are various variants of the missiles “Caliber” that can be used against sea and against ground targets. The version of the missile for ground targets has a range of probably 2.5 thousand km and Missiles “Onyx” are very fast missiles for use against sea targets, but in Syria they are also used against ground targets.
“Impact of the submarine project “Ash”, armed with missiles “Calibre”, which can reach up to 40, in addition, they have ten torpedoes. Will also be built submarine project, “Oscar II”, who can take on Board up to 96 missiles. It’s a lot” — says the researcher.
If now the balance of power will change in favor of the attacker, it may in the future change a lot and in Norway too. For example, centralization of the defense resources may not be a bad idea. Norway has done a lot to concentrate large forces in several places. Large groups of naval forces are concentrated, for example, in Haakonsvern. New aircraft F-35 is also placed in several locations, such as at Evenes. Critics point out that the Norwegian part, thus, become vulnerable. In the divisions of submarines, aircraft Orion on Andaya among researchers in this regard expressing concern. The same problem exists in many NATO countries.
The use of missiles “Onyx” or “Calibre” vs ships requires the availability of good sensors that can determine the location of these ships. But if these missiles are used against stationary ground structures, the dependence of such sensors is reduced. Therefore, any database is highly vulnerable.
In the West there is almost no air protection of such databases. Ulriksen and other experts believe that NATO countries need to dramatically change their ideas about protecting fleets. Otherwise, one submarine will be able to bring down an entire aircraft carrier group, the entire naval base or other important goals.
“All naval bases in Europe may be in very great danger. In the case of an unexpected attack moored warships are very vulnerable. One is a Russian sub could theoretically destroy the entire Atlantic fleet of the United States, if it will be on their bases. Need a big change,” says the Table Ulriksen.
A few submarines to be at sea
Submariner of Olav Dale agree with the analysis Ulriksen, but said he did not believe in a Russian attack and not afraid of him. However, the Norwegian Navy also analyze the new position.
AldriMer.no: You agree that the new Russian Podladchikova the situation in the North?
Olav Dale: Speech, apparently, goes about the Russian attack. The question of why she needed it. I don’t wander around, fearful of future Russian attack. But, on the other hand, we cannot rule it out. They have the opportunity to do so. In such a scenario our whole command system and the control system will be quickly disabled. This is the main reason that Norway, in our opinion, the number of submarines should be much more than the planned four.
— The idea of having subs is that they have the opportunity to act, even if the command system will be destroyed. We should have a few submarines in the sea, if we want to achieve deterrent effect. This is not only a challenge for Norway. NATO has too few submarines.
It is important to deny the enemy freedom of action
Ulriksen believes that the ability to deny the enemy freedom of action has become more important. Iceland, Svalbard and the coast of Norway can be a potential target. The missiles installed on the “right” places can be strategically decisive. It also changes the situation in the North.
The situation may remind you of Gotland, which is crucial in the Baltic sea. Last autumn, Sweden has placed on the island a military unit with tanks. Norway did nothing of the sort to protect vulnerable places.
“The combination of s-400 (Russian missiles surface-to-air, approx. journalist), submarines and anti-ship missiles deployed in the right places, is the object of attention of writers of the Russian plans. Coast of Norway was by all accounts a logical place to create a strong position, for example, Andaya. From the Russian point of view, they could then protect their Northern fleet and prevent US to use the Norwegian sea. Their missiles could have on the large marine space to hit ships and aircraft, including airfields and naval bases in the UK. But, in contrast to Sweden, we do not perceive such scenarios as real,” says the Table Ulriksen. Although it seems that the decision to have the submarine in the Norwegian sea on a regular basis can be helpful.
He adds that a lot of Russian think about how to protect your submarine. Submarines are vulnerable to aircraft with anti-submarine weaponry. In such cases, you need to quickly deny the enemy use of airspace.
“These submarines vulnerable to attack Maritime patrol aircraft. This is a problem for the Russian. In this case, they need to deny the enemy freedom of action in the air. Then maybe they will want to land on the ground, for example, Andaya to create a point of defense. From this point of view, Norwegian coast is exposed to great danger,” says Ulriksen.
Submarines — the perfect antidote to
Ability to carry out Maritime patrols in the North in accordance with the development of the situation becomes all the more important. Norway in this respect has ordered five new aircraft P-8 Poseidon. But the unit commander of the submarines of Olav Dale believes that Norway needs to understand that there are limitations for these aircraft.
“Aircraft P-8 is very important in peacetime and early in crises. But with a little further development of the conflict, air supremacy, which depend on the aircraft, to be endangered in parts of the operational area. In such a situation, we depend on subs. They are not only unpredictable and pose a great threat to the enemy, but also have good ASW weapons. This can be crucial,” he says. Dale believes that a General lack of submarines, NATO is a big weakness.
A source in the aircraft parts believes that the aircraft P-8 will continue to play a role, but I agree with Dale that the four submarines is too small: “These aircraft will be not only on earth but in certain situations will move away from this place and work there. However, I fully agree that the four submarines is too small. Four submarines is in the Netherlands, but the coastline of Norway is about 400 times longer than the coastline of the Netherlands, plus the close proximity of Russia and where the Russian submarines out on operations,” — said the source.
“The main problem of NATO is the availability of the Atlantic for submarines. Submarines are important, because they are difficult to eliminate, especially when they are in motion. In this case, we have to have a few submarines and a few crews. The presence of one or two Norwegian submarines at sea gives a small effect,” says Dale.
The unit commander submarines adds that the submarine, in his opinion, can play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of reinforcements, NATO, going to the coast of Norway.
American carrier battle group will not come close to the territorial waters of Norway up until the danger (the Russian submarine, approx. journalist) will not be reduced to an acceptable level. Only in this way, says Dale.