Track, Locate & Destroy – US Navy Forms New Task Force to Counter Russian Submarines in the Atlantic
The Greyhound formation will consist of Arlie Burke-class destroyers. Earlier, American admirals have repeatedly stated with concern: Russian naval submarines are increasingly entering the waters that Washington has always considered its fiefdom. About the tasks of the task force – in the material of the editorial office.
The first to enter the group will be the destroyers Donald Cook and Thomas Hadner. Rear Admiral Brendan MacLaine, Commander of the US Navy’s Atlantic Surface Forces, said the ships’ crews specialize in submarine hunting.
The destroyers The Sullivans, Cole and Gravely will later join. There will be four pennants in the group at the same time, the fifth one for repair and maintenance. In addition, depending on the mission, “Borzoi” can be reinforced with multipurpose submarines or patrol aircraft. The connection will reach operational readiness by July 2022.
“The ships will soon be able to perform a full range of tasks, including tracking Russian submarine activities in the Atlantic and protecting the United States at sea,” McLain said. “These four pennants will be based in Mayport and Norforlk and will be in constant readiness to go out into the ocean. The crews face lengthy joint training sessions so that the destroyers act as a whole. The strategic threat is growing day by day. Our key rivals spare no time or money to develop new weapons and technologies that are dangerous to the United States. In such conditions, it is necessary to act proactively “
The task force will be part of the Second Fleet, recreated in 2018. During the Cold War, it opposed Soviet submarines in the Atlantic and was disbanded after the collapse of the USSR. Until recently, forces and means were allocated to this fleet as needed. Greyhoud will be the first full-time unit.
“The destroyers Arlie Burke have been built since the late 1980s and are constantly being modernized,” Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal Otechestvo magazine, explained to the editorial board. – They have quite serious anti-submarine weapons: the RUM-139 VL-ASROC missile systems destroy underwater targets at a distance of up to 20 kilometers. In addition, there are torpedo tubes. Submarines are detected using sonar stations, including those with a towed antenna “
The expert emphasized that destroyers always work closely with the naval patrol aircraft, in particular with the P-8 Poseidon aircraft. Their task is to establish the approximate location of the target. After that, as they say in the Pentagon, the “driven hunt” begins. The area is surrounded by hydroacoustic buoys, ships enter there and survey sector by sector, gradually narrowing the search circle. In wartime, the discovered submarine is destroyed. In peacetime, they try to maintain constant hydroacoustic contact with her.
“Destroyers, as a rule, follow the trail of a submarine in pairs, replacing each other,” Murakhovsky clarifies. – It’s an old game. During the Cold War, both we and the United States have accumulated tremendous experience in spying on each other in the ocean. It happened that our boats surfaced within the order of an aircraft carrier strike group to periscope depth and, remaining unnoticed, photographed American ships. Soviet submariners regularly broke through the boundaries of permanent buoys and detection stations deployed at the exits to the Atlantic from the North Sea. I do not think that the combination of four destroyers will become an insoluble problem for our fleet “
According to Murakhovsky, it is not for nothing that Washington has just announced a task force of “hunters”. They consider Russian naval boats with the Kalibr missile system to be a direct threat to ships and coastal infrastructure.
Indeed, even one submarine cruiser that broke through the anti-submarine lines will cause very serious problems. In addition, the situation for the Americans will become more complicated when the Russian Navy begins to receive massively hypersonic Zircons. The Pentagon knows that there is simply nothing to defend against this strike complex today.
The United States also admits that Russia has learned to build really low-noise submarines, which are extremely difficult to detect:
- atomic “Ash”
- and diesel-electric “Varshavyanka”.
Back last year, Vice Admiral Andrew Woody Lewis said the Pentagon had lost dominance in the Atlantic. According to him, Moscow is using equipment with “more lethal weapons systems”, which makes the preparation of the Navy for operations more difficult. And outside the main Atlantic naval base, American sailors do not feel safe.
Of particular concern in the Pentagon is the promising Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle with a nuclear warhead and virtually unlimited range. It is designed to destroy coastal cities as well as naval bases and is capable of inflicting unacceptable damage to the country with a guarantee. In Washington, it is assumed that the Poseidons will go to their targets just across the Atlantic.
Forbes experts have already called the drone “the submarine of the decade.” In their opinion, American torpedoes Mk 48 Advanced Capability or British Spearfish are powerless against Poseidons:
- they cannot be reached due to their great depth and maneuverability.
Forbes is confident that submarines with nuclear drones on board will soon become the main targets of the anti-submarine forces of NATO countries.
Photo: © US Navy / MCS 3rd Class Will Hardy