Analysis: In return to cold war posture, US sending sub hunting planes to Icelan…

Tucked away within the 2018 protection price range sitting on President Donald Trump’s desk is a provision for $14.four million to refurbish hangars at Naval Air Station Keflavik to accommodate extra U.S. Navy P-eight Poseidon reconnaissance plane, a key surveillance asset for finding and monitoring submarines, a protection official confirms.

The transfer comes as new Russian nuclear and traditional submarines have been making extra frequent journeys by way of the world often known as the “GIUK hole” – an acronym for Greenland, Iceland, and the UK – the route for the Russian Northern Fleet to enter the Atlantic Ocean.

The USA and Iceland have agreed to extend rotations of the American surveillance planes to Iceland subsequent yr, Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael confirmed to Overseas Coverage.

Contained in the alliance, there’s concern over NATO’s capacity to find and monitor the brand new Russian submarines as they transfer silently into the open ocean. NATO officers have admitted that the previous 20 years of anti-piracy operations close to Africa and help for floor operations within the Center East have distracted from the anti-submarine mission which was on the core of the Chilly Struggle mission within the Atlantic.

After permitting its naval forces to fall into disrepair within the Nineteen Nineties, Russian President Vladimir Putin set out on a serious army overhaul within the 2000s, clawing again functionality by designing and constructing new diesel- and nuclear-powered boats, making them quieter, extra deadly, and longer-legged than their Soviet predecessors.

Russia’s undersea fleet “is in one of the best state it has been in because the fall of the Soviet Union,” stated Michael Kofman, a Russian army skilled on the Middle for Naval Analyses. “A whole lot of effort has been spent on drilling, coaching, and readiness.”

The Russian submarine pressure of about 50 hulls is a fraction of the four hundred the Soviet Union floated in the course of the Chilly Warfare, however they boast vastly improved technical capabilities that put them on par with their American rivals, specialists stated. “This time they are going for high quality somewhat than amount,” added Magnus Nordenman of the Atlantic Council.

In an unclassified evaluation of Russian army power issued earlier this yr, the Pentagon’s Protection Intelligence Company concluded that Moscow’s new nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines are “able to delivering nuclear warheads from hundreds of kilometers away. This strategic functionality places the Russian Navy within the prime tier of overseas navies.”

The satisfaction of the Russian fleet…

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