Intelligence Gathering

Russian attack sub discovered just 200 miles from US East Coast is given safe harbor during Hurricane Sandy

  • Nuclear-powered sub believed to be part of  Russia’s Northern Fleet
  • It was armed withtwo types of anti-sub warfare missiles  and torpedoes
  • First time a Russian Sierra-2 class sub has  detected near a U.S. coast
  • U.S. defense officials are downplaying the  potential threat

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:00:15 EST, 6  November 2012| UPDATED:10:16 EST, 6 November 2012

A Russian attack sub was  given safe harbor in Florida during Hurricane Sandy after it was detected just 200 miles from the East Coast, it  emerged today.

The Sierra-2 class submarine was believed to  be part of the country’s Northern Fleet, outfitted with SS-N-21 anti-submarine  warfare missiles,  SS-N-16 anti-submarine warfare missiles, and  torpedoes.

This is the first time a Russian Sierra-2  class sub has been detected near the U.S. coast, reported the Free  Beacon, although U.S. defense  officials are downplaying the potential threat.

Harmless: U.S. officials say the Russian nuclear-powered attack sub posed no threat and was even given safe harbor from Hurricane SandyHarmless: U.S. officials say a Russian nuclear-powered  attack given safe harbor from Hurricane Sandy ‘as it posed no threat’ (file  picture)

The Free Beacon’s sources spoke only on  condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of ant-sub warfare.

‘While I can’t talk about how we detected it,  I can tell you that things worked the way they were supposed to,’ one official  said, adding that the submarine ‘poses no threat whatsoever’.

Officials said the submarine was probably  conducting anti-submarine  warfare efforts against U.S. ballistic and cruise  missile submarines at Kings Bay, Georgia.

The submarine did not sail near Kings Bay or  threaten a U.S. aircraft carrier group conducting exercises near it in the  eastern Atlantic.

There are two guided missile submarines and  six nuclear missile submarines docked at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

Those American vessels are a known target of  Russian attack subs.

Iron man: Though Putin's regime has increased naval patrols and bomber flybys, U.S. defense officials have downplayed the incidents as President Obama seeks stronger political ties to MoscowIron man: Though Putin’s regime has increased naval  patrols and bomber flybys, U.S. defense officials have downplayed the incidents  as President Obama seeks stronger political ties to Moscow
Flexing their muscle: Officials say Russian sub patrols have increased in recent yearsFlexing their muscle: Officials say Russian sub patrols  have increased in recent yearsHowever, the Russian sub was  considered safe  enough that it was given a safe harbor in Jacksonville,  Florida’s commercial  port during Hurricane Sandy, within listening range of Kings Bay.

A  Jacksonville Port Authority spokeswoman  declined to comment on the  submarine. At this time the submarine is thought to  be hundreds of miles from American shorelines.

The deployment could be read as an effort by  the Russian navy to re-establish naval power projection capabilities.

Russia said as much in February when it  announcing an increase in submarine  patrols in strategic waters around the  world.

‘On June 1 or a bit later we will resume  constant patrolling of the  world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,’  Russian Navy Commander  Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said in February.

Armed: The Sierra 2-class submarine was armed with anti-submarine missiles and torpedosArmed: The Sierra 2-class submarine was armed with  anti-submarine missiles and torpedoes (file picture)

‘A Russian AGI and an SSN in the same  geographic area as one of the  largest U.S. ballistic missile submarine  bases—Kings Bay—is reminiscent  of Cold War activities of the Soviet navy  tracking the movements of our  SSBN’s,’ said another U.S. official.

SSBN is the designation for  ballistic  missile submarines.

Russia’s navy carried out hundreds of  submarine patrols during the Cold War to  maintain first-and-second-strike  nuclear capabilities.

Even when the Soviet Union was in decline in  1984 it still conducted 230 submarine patrols.

Today it conducts fewer than 10 a year.

‘As was their primary mission during the Cold  War, Russian SSNs  [nuclear attack submarines] would likely be trying to track  U.S. nuclear missile submarines deploying from Kings Bay, Georgia, and to  monitor  U.S.  naval deployments from Norfolk, Virginia,’ Richard Fisher,  military  analyst with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, wore in  an email.

A Russian attack sub was discovered near the U.S. coastline but defense officials said it posed no threatA Russian attack sub was discovered near the U.S.  coastline but defense officials said it posed no threat
Officials said the submarine was probably conducting anti-submarine warfare efforts against U.S. ballistic and cruise missile submarines at Kings Bay, GeorgiaOfficials said the submarine was probably conducting  anti-submarine warfare efforts against U.S. ballistic and cruise missile  submarines at Kings Bay, Georgia

Fisher added that Russia is currently  building new attack submarines to rival the U.S.’s Los Angeles-class vessels.

In recent months there’s been series of  examples of Russia flexing its military strength near U.S. soil.

Last summer saw the transit of two Bear-H  strategic bombers near the Alaska  air defense zone during Russian strategic  bomber war games in arctic.

Then in an likely Fourth of July political  message, on Independence Day a Russian Bear-H flew  the closest to the U.S. West  Coast that a Russian strategic bomber had  flown since the Cold War when such  flights were routine.

In both cases U.S. and Canadian interceptor  jets met the Russian bombers.

But U.S. officials dismissed both incidents  as the Obama administration seeks to establish closer ties to Moscow.

Russia bombers have also been detected near  Norway’s airspace with a Bear H bomber spotted on Sept. 11 and 12 shadowed by  NATO jet fighters.

55 Russian bombers have been detected near  Norway’s territory in 2012, a sharp increase from the early 2000s

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