Why North Korean/Chinese Subs Are A Real Threat To US FORCES

Discussion in 'Asia' started by NATO AIR, Jul 26, 2004.


    NATO AIR Senior Member

    Jun 25, 2004
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    USS Abraham Lincoln
    i remember questions about this matter in another board, but i'm not sure where. we have this CHINFO media thread we recieve 5 days a week onboard the Kitty Hawk intranet, and it is a miiltary news blog with many sources including newspapers, defence journals, magazines, etc etc. So I apologize for the lack of a link but if you want verification I'm sure you could look the author or the journal's name up through Google. Here is why these diesel subs are such a worry for us, especially here in the 7th Fleet Area Of Responsibility.

    Diesel Submarines Irritant To U.S. Navy
    By Sandra I. Erwin

    Following several years of relative inaction,
    the U.S. Navy is charging ahead with plans to
    neutralize what it sees as the growing menace of
    enemy diesel-electric submarines.
    Diesel-electric boats, although relatively
    low-tech, are emerging as a decided threat to
    military assets around the world and civilian
    targets in the United States, officials said.
    Unlike large nuclear-powered attack
    submarines, diesel boats can operate covertly in
    coastal areas or in the vicinity of U.S. floating
    bases, possibly blocking U.S. access to combat
    zones and making U.S. vessels vulnerable to
    torpedo attacks.
    Because they are much less costly to
    produce than nuclear submarines, easily
    available on the world arms market and hard to
    detect, diesel boats now are viewed as classic
    “asymmetric” threats that could wreak havoc on
    a technically superior U.S. naval force.
    Adm. Vernon Clark, chief of naval
    operations, is expected to approve this fall an
    “anti-submarine warfare master plan” and a
    “concept of operations” on how to counter
    diesel-electric submarines.
    Clark also set up new organizations
    dedicated to anti-submarine warfare. A
    Washington, D.C.-based task force stood up last
    year was directed to “identify new technologies
    and concepts of operations to fundamentally
    change anti-submarine warfare,” said Capt.
    David Yoshihara, who heads the organization.
    In San Diego, the Navy created a Fleet
    Anti-Submarine Warfare Command-led by
    Rear Adm. John J. Waickwicz-that is focused
    on sharpening commanders’ anti-submarine
    war-fighting skills. Meanwhile, a new program
    office at the Naval Sea Systems Command is
    responsible for coordinating all anti-submarine
    warfare research, development and procurement
    across the Navy.
    After the cold war, the Navy neglected antisubmarine
    warfare, on the assumption that
    Soviet subs no longer were a menace. But the
    proliferation of diesel-electric submarines
    around the world prompted Navy leaders to
    rethink their priorities, noted Capt. Paul
    Rosbolt, who oversees anti-submarine warfare
    programs at the Naval Sea Systems Command.
    “We didn’t pay attention to anti-submarine
    warfare for a while,” said Rosbolt in a recent
    interview. “We allowed equipment to fall
    behind. We didn’t train as much as when there
    was a Soviet Navy to practice against.”
    Fighting enemy diesel submarines requires
    new skills and sensor technologies that the U.S.
    Navy has not yet perfected, said Rosbolt. While
    Soviet nuclear submarines sail in deep oceans,
    the quieter diesel boats generally operate in
    shallow coastal waters.
    Anti-submarine warfare is a complex
    discipline that cannot be learned overnight, he
    noted. It requires a profound understanding of
    submarine tactics and the ability to “ready the
    enemy’s mind,” much like a chess game,
    explained Rosbolt.
    The 1981 film “Das Boot,” which
    immortalized the claustrophobic world of a
    World War II German U-boat-with all its
    boredom, filth and sheer terror-is mandatory
    viewing for all anti-submarine warfare officers,
    Rosbolt noted.
    Diesel submarines come in many shapes
    and forms. The U.S. Navy, which no longer
    operates diesels, does not necessarily worry
    about the old Soviet-era boats that have been
    sitting by the pier for 15 years without any
    maintenance or crew training.
    “Those are relatively easy to deal with,”
    said Rosbolt. Of most concern are the newer
    diesel-electric boats made by several European
    nations, most of whom are U.S. allies. Those
    submarines are more technologically advanced,
    quieter and have a longer battery life, which
    means they can stay submerged and undetected
    for extended periods of time.
    John Young, assistant secretary of the Navy
    for research, development and acquisition, said
    at a news conference last month that 40
    countries today operate more than 400
    submarines, 75 percent of which are considered
    “modern” boats.
    “Their advantage is stealth,” said
    Waickwicz, head of the Fleet Anti-Submarine
    Warfare Command. “They can hover, sit on the
    bottom for long periods of time. They can sit as
    an ambush, or they can be out working in wolfpacks.”
    By comparison, the U-boats of World War
    II had limited battery endurance and had to
    snorkel frequently. “Now, they can lay in wait
    for a long time in stealth mode,” said
    Waickwicz. Most submarines carry cruise
    missiles, torpedoes and mines-the same
    armaments found aboard nuclear attack
    The Navy’s anti-submarine warfare master
    plan, to be completed in September, will outline
    current programs and technologies deemed
    relevant for ASW operations. It will identify
    “gaps” in existing capabilities that need to be
    addressed in the future. The last time the Navy
    updated its anti-submarine warfare master plan
    was 1991.
    To pay for new ASW capabilities, the Navy
    will reallocate funds from existing programs,
    said Rosbolt. “The CNO wants us to do this
    without breaking the bank,” he said, although it
    is not yet clear whether some of the
    technologies now envisioned for future ASW
    operations are affordable within the current
    To capture the state of the technology, the
    Navy is reaching out to the private sector, he
    noted. In recent months, several “broad agency
    announcements” were published, seeking
    contractor proposals for how to develop and
    deploy miniature sensors at sea and how to
    defend submarines from torpedo attacks, for
    Following a venture capitalist approach, the
    Navy will ask companies to validate their
    technologies in various exercises and
    experiments during the next two years. Those
    that show the most promise will get funding,
    said Rosbolt.
    The complexity of anti-submarine warfare
    makes it impossible to rely on any one single
    technology or weapon system, he added. “There
    is no silver bullet in ASW. … We can’t build a
    single system that is going to find every
    submarine in every kind of environment. It will
    take a mix of systems.”
    Another piece of the Navy’s strategy is an
    information campaign designed to put potential
    enemies on notice that the United States is well
    equipped to defeat diesel subs, said Yoshihara,
    who runs the ASW task force in Washington.
    “We want countries to know that our ASW
    capability is so good that it would be a bad
    investment on their end. … We want to send a
    message that we are investing in ASW.”
    One significant obstacle for anti-submarine
    operations is the amount of time needed to gain
    enough intelligence about the enemy. The
    Pentagon strategy instituted recently by the
    Bush administration calls for gaining access of
    an area of operations within 10 days.
    That is a “demanding timeline” for ASW,
    said Yoshihara. “ASW takes a long time.” It
    takes weeks sometimes to gather intelligence
    and analyze it. That gives enemy diesel subs
    more than enough time to figure out they have
    been detected. “We have a tendency to lose
    them, because ASW is a difficult environment,”
    Yoshihara said.
    The answer to shortening the response time,
    the Navy believes, is to deploy “distributed
    sensor networks” across large areas of the
    ocean. Up to hundreds of small sonobuoy
    sensors would be launched from ships or
    aircraft, and left unattended for several days or
    weeks. If the sensors detected a suspected
    enemy submarine, a ship commander nearby
    would be alerted.
    An effective anti-submarine strategy will
    need to draw from every element of naval
    warfare: air, undersea and surface, said
    Waickwicz. “We try to integrate all three across
    the spectrum of ASW. It is quite a challenge to
    bring all the communities together,” he told
    National Defense.
    The Navy’s attack submarines are primary
    ASW platforms, as are the P-3 Orion patrol
    aircraft, equipped with anti-submarine missiles.
    The Navy announced last month it will spend up
    to $44 billion on a new fleet of maritime
    surveillance jets that will replace the P-3.
    Aircraft such as the P-3 and their future
    replacement are “clearly the best platforms for
    doing wide-area search and doing the
    localization required to track the diesel
    submarine,” said Tom Laux, program executive
    officer for air anti-submarine warfare. “Today’s
    modern diesel is a very, very challenging
    threat,” he told reporters.
    Another multibillion-dollar program
    conceived in part for anti-submarine warfare
    missions is the Littoral Combat Ship.
    The LCS will have several ASW roles, said
    Rear Adm. William E. Landay, program
    executive officer for littoral and mine warfare.
    “The first is to be able to provide a persistent
    large area detection capability.” Helicopters or
    inflatable boats deployed from the LCS would
    be able to launch sonobuoys to help detect and
    locate submarines, Landay said. To destroy
    submarines, the LCS would deploy an MH-60
    helicopter outfitted with missiles.
    Besides developing new technology, the
    Navy will need to revamp training programs and
    promote the need for increased ASW
    proficiency in the fleet, said Yoshihara. Junior
    officers, particularly, “want to understand where
    we are headed with ASW,” he said. The Navy’s
    strategy will require a cultural adjustment, such
    as operating as part of a network, rather than in
    isolated ships. “It’s ‘eye opening’ to be involved
    in a group,” he said. “We don’t have an
    appreciation for that. We focus on ‘my sonar’ or
    ‘your sonar.’”
    A cornerstone of the ASW training program
    is a series of multinational exercises, explained
    Waickwicz. Those drills can be particularly
    useful, because many allied nations operate
    diesel submarines, and provide a realistic “red
    force” for the United States to match up against.
    Bilateral exercises will take place later this year
    with Japan, Chile and Canada.
    For a recent exercise in Iceland involving
    the United States, Poland and Norway, the
    Polish Navy provided Kilo diesel submarines it
    had received from Russia.
    One drawback, however, is the inability for
    all exercise participants to share data in real
    time and exchange “lessons learned”
    immediately after the event, noted Waickwicz.
    In recent months, the U.S. Pacific Fleet and
    the Naval Undersea Warfare Command have
    been working on a so-called “ASW tactical
    assessment tool,” an online database that stores
    information from all Navy ASW exercises and
    helps assess the fleet performance.
    “It doesn’t do any good to do an analysis
    six months after the exercise,” said Waickwicz.
    “People no longer remember what it was like or
    what they were doing.”
    As more battle group commanders take part
    in ASW exercises, they will gain appreciation
    for these skills, he said. “If we can bring
    exercises that have merit, we can get targets to
    practice the science and the art of ASW, people
    will want to do it.
    “If you do ASW once every four months or
    six months, you get very frustrated, because you
    cannot get the proficiency, the fidelity in
    training. You lose it. If you do it on a continuing
    basis, at sea or ashore in synthetic simulation,
    ASW is very rewarding as a warfare specialty.”
  2. Wolfe

    Wolfe Member

    Feb 4, 2004
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    Quebec, Canada
    As good as these submarines may be they are no match for American subs. American subs have the best crews and are the quietest, fastest and most lethal in the world. I don't think any country can ever challenge seriously American dominance in the submarine world.

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