Russian Submarines “Scared” NATO Navy in Mediterranean

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The NATO anti-submarine forces are searching for two Russian nuclear submarines, presumably, tracking NATO carrier strike groups in the Mediterranean.

Russian Submarines "Scared" NATO Navy in Mediterranean

Photo: TASS / Yuri Smityuk

The NATO anti-submarine forces are searching for two Russian nuclear submarines in the Mediterranean Sea, which are presumably track carrier attack groups of the French and US Navy, the Izvestiya newspaper reported, citing specialized blogs. The newspaper talks about submarines of the 949A Antey project, which are called the Oscar-2 by NATO. These submarines are armed with the Granit anti-ship missiles and were designed to destroy enemy aircraft carriers.

According to reports, the activity of the Р-8-А Poseidon antisubmarine aircraft, performing their sorties from the Sigonella airbase in Sicily, has significantly increased. On Monday, these aircraft intensively combed out the area to the southeast of the Cyprus Island, where two NATO carrier attack groups, led by the Eisenhower and Charles de Gaulle aircraft carriers, are currently deployed.

Usually, aircraft carriers are well protected. But there were cases, when during submarine’s exercises someone could get inside of a formation, and this means the state of emergency for a squadron, as in the case of a real war this development would mean certain death of a flagship.

It was reported that the Russian Antey submarines approached to the NATO squadron. The Russian Navy currently has eight submarines of this project. Western military experts stress that the presence of the Russian submarines in the area is difficult to be explained by the operation in Syria because the Anteys are not designed to destroy ground targets.

The newspaper noted that the appearance of the Russian submarines near NATO’s ships or infrastructure gives European experts a reason to doubt the effectiveness of the existing anti-submarine forces. Earlier, the French Navy Command officially admitted the fact of the repeated appearance of Russian nuclear submarines near the territorial waters of the country – in the Bay of Biscay. At that time, the chief of the Navy Staff told media that the Navy does not have enough forces to control the entire coast and also has to periodically allocate aircraft to help allies, who have worse situation with the anti-submarine defense.

According to a veteran-submariner Igor Kurdin, the weakening of the NATO anti-submarine forces is a normal phenomenon.

“They had no practice for a long time. We returned to the global sea, and their anti-submarine forces were not ready for this,” Kurdin told Izvestiya.

The submariner explained that the Mediterranean Sea has always been an arena of confrontation between fleets of the world powers. During the Cold War, an entire brigade of Soviet diesel-electric submarines and the 5th operational squadron of surface ships were on combat duty there.

According to the expert, there is nothing surprising in the fact that nuclear submarines came to the Mediterranean at the same time with surface vessels, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser.

“The confrontation of fleets always existed. We hide – they seek, and vice versa,” Kurdin concluded.

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