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Venezuela’s New Mini Submarines Threaten US Underwater Cables

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Venezuela's New Mini Submarines Threaten US Underwater Cables


The Venezuelan Navy recently revealed a newly acquired submarine. The vessel is small, unarmed and short ranged. The Italian designed VAS-525 mini-submarine is relatively deep diving, able to reach down 525 feet. It can carry up to three divers who can leave the submarine to conduct specific missions and then return to the submarine.

Yet it has some US commentators concerned, claiming it could pose an asymmetrical threat to US interests in the Caribbean. This is because it is a type of submarine designed for diver-lock-out work, meaning that it can be used to transport underwater saboteurs.

In particular, there is concern that they could be used to target undersea communications cables and the internet.

After years of economic troubles and strict unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, the Venezuelan Navy (Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela) has been struggling to maintain its existing fleet and improve its naval capabilities in the face of frequent US threats to intercept merchant shipping and possibly even invade the South American country. Historically the Venezuelan navy has been relatively well equipped with frigates and patrol boats built in Spain as well as a small fleet of submarines. But the sanctions and turmoil have hit hard. According to media reports, its two conventional submarines haven’t been to sea in years.

The mini-submarine is seen as posing a threat to US underwater communications cables. The sea floor is crisscrossed with internet cables and other fiber-optic communications. A key location in the Caribbean is the US territory of Guantánamo Bay, a large military base established on an enclave of Cuban territory carved from Cuba’s territory during the US military occupation following the 1898 war with Spain and maintained notwithstanding the vehement objections of the Cuban government for over fifty years. Several fiber optic cables are known to be connected to the military base. And there are many other cable links within reach of Venezuelan ships.

To be most effective an attack on the underwater communications networks would have to be made in relatively deep water, to make it harder to repair. Undersea internet cables are often damaged by ships anchors but this is usually close to shore. Consequently they can be fixed quickly. But an attack in deeper water could be more difficult to repair, especially if repair vessels face the possibility of attack.

Conducting an attack would not be easy for Venezuela however. The mini-submarine would have to be carried to the target area somehow. The Venezuelan Navy’s submarines are reportedly inoperable so they couldn’t carry it. And while it technically possible, using a submarine to launch another submarine is an extremely difficult and risky operation.

Using surface warships would be difficult to conceal, and the area is heavily patrolled by US warships and aircraft. But a civilian vessel could also be used as a support ship to launch and retrieve the submarines. The mini-submarine can be towed into position in a floating barge which has a hole for the mini-submarine to be lowered into the water. Venezuela is believed to have one of these. A crane could also be used to lift the sub into and out of the water from a mother ship.

While the Venezuelan Navy has very little combat experience and has not been called on to undertake substantial offensive operations, it appears to be upgrading its fleet to the extent prevailing conditions permit to broaden its offensive and defensive capabilities. LINK


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The Italian designed VAS-525. Its cute. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/461a6e641f6f1c55017ac7f452cb4e440892129c3dd8addf96d1dd15e457ac1a.jpg

Антон С

Call sergeant Pepper, we have found his bathyscaphe.


Like Iran, Venezuela needs a military industry of its own, but Russia and China have so far done very little to help in that respect despite the Venezuelan governments willingness to share their vast natural resources with Chinese/Russian companies- That would certainly imply closer military-intelligence cooperation to ensure the continuity of the Chavista govt, but truly upsetting the global Ziocorporate terrorists’ schemes is something Beijing/Moscow seem unwilling to do so far. France helped UK disable French missiles Argentina had acquired and they lost the Malvinas war right away, trusting Italian or any other Western-made tech is never a safe bet.

Lone Ranger

Russia and China is selling advanced military tech to Venezuela. But they are very careful setting up factories there, because if the U.S. manages to topple the govt all the tech and know how falls into the hands of the U.S. But there is already an AK-103 factory, thats not a national security rusk.

Jim Allen

It’s the word “seems” that’s key to giving yourself a distorted perception of Venezuela’s capabilities, and the contributions by Russia, China, and other countries that see no need to attract attention to the work they do to back up an ally. Ultimately US Government is going to attack, and invade Venezuela. The country is much too rich in resources for The City of London to simply walk away. Leaving Venezuela’s non-oil resources undeveloped is wise, why make the country more vulnerable to attack, and a more attractive target for the Cabal that controls the large military force preparing to attack the country despite the military technology, and capabilities of the defending forces that make this force disproportionately more effective than the invading forces. Having one’s enemies underestimate one forces is always an advantage, but particularly so in a defensive role. Russia’s been active in South America far longer than any have considered, and is held in high esteem. Unlike it’s Western partners that are universally despised, and hated on the contenient. Russia wasn’t too noticeable when it sent teams to inspect Venezuela’s military equipment, that’s mostly Russian purchased by Chavez who enjoyed a good relationship with Russia. Military hardware upgraded, S-300 deployed assembled, upgraded. It had been stored since delivery. Russian training upgrades to Venezuelan military personnel added to their already established fighting effectiveness. Russian advisors, and teams working with Venezuelan Naval engineers, etc., are most likely working to return these vessels to service. The Chinese may be more involved. Venezuela is highly industrialized,, and has a well educated, skilled, experienced work force,that should easily be capable of whipping these submarines, and ships into shape. It’s reasonable to consider Russia has a few undersea assets hanging out in the region. Russia had at least one cruiser size warship in the area, Cuba perhaps. There’s a pair of Tu-160’s that flew in, giving US Government apolexy. They may still be there, a MiG-31 (long range) with them. If not these baby’s can return very quickly.

chris chuba

I get that the U.S. concern is propaganda but what is the actual purpose of the submarine, is it a weapon or is it for difficult to access infrastructure repair? Either use is both legal and valid because Venezuela is a sovereign country under attack, I’m just very curious.

Антон С

“Manufactured by leading mini submarine expert GSE Trieste, the VAS 525/60 is an all-electric manned submersible, designed to operate in conjunction with a mothership for launch and recovery. It is built to exacting military standards and can carry 4/5 passengers down to a maximum operating depth of 160m (525ft) for up to 8 hours. The Submarine is designed for adventure, offering yacht owners the chance to experience a dimension usually reserved for explorers and marine scientists.” https://y.co/news/yacht-sales/submarine-for-sale-by-yco

It’s bathyscaphe, not submarine even being yellow. https://www.toysforbigboys.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/yellow-submarine.jpg

rightiswrong rightiswrong

It could also be used to repair Venezuelan underwater installations that the US are trying to sabotage of course, which would explain the short range.

The USA has a long history of mining and sabotage of harbours and pipelines, of nations who have never attacked US interests. Syria could do with something similar.


Or could catch the CIA submarines that traffic cocaine from Columbia and slaves from Africa

Albert Pike

1 Mini Sub, 3 divers – sounds dangerous..

Антон С

They will cut off all cables near Venezuela, because this submarine has very low range. Don’t put your cables here = no danger to cables. But I’m sure, the US will do it. If they have no cables in the area, the won’t stop claiming about danger. That’s how propaganda works.


if they can cut one or more of the telecommunication lines operated by the morons in the disunited states of A that would be something to cherish. anything hitting the yankee-twats, like the world trade center on sept 11, 2001, is bound to make them even more dysfunctional.

cechas vodobenikov

amerikans consume more illicit substance than anyone, unable to feel pleasure—80+% is smuggled via the pacific, 1/3 through Ecuador….the cocaine that is transported from the Atlantic largely is smuggled through the Bahamas to the USA and Europe via guinea Bissau

Alberto Garza

so they are planning terrorists attacks on civilian infrastructure ?

Антон С


Gosh, everyone threaten the US, the most peaceful country in the world and their peaceful cables near Venezuela! Putin does the same by placing weapons in Kaliningrad region and Crimea. This is so aggressive! Pentagon need more bases in Poland to protect molecules of freedom.

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