The US Navy is seeking $56.5 million to upgrade its ability to detect submarines in fear of Russia’s activity in the Atlantic, according to a Bloomberg report.
“As soon as mid-2016, the service also wants to send to the Atlantic a prototype networked undersea sensor system that addresses emergent real-world threats,” the agency quotes a Defense Department budget document as reading.
Both systems are intended to meet “an urgent requirement” sought by US combatant commanders responsible for Europe and homeland defense.
“The unclassified requests, still pending before Congress, provide a glimpse into mostly classified programs. They are the Navy’s equivalent of the Army’s well-publicized increase of troop rotations, exercises and equipment repositioning in the Baltics and other locations to reassure European allies,” Bloomberg says.
“The Navy’s proposals are evidence that the US military views Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic as both an immediate risk and an emerging long-term threat,” the agency quotes Tom Spahn, a Navy reservist who writes on undersea warfare issues, as saying.
“The prototype sensor network will be best used in a choke point like Gibraltar or a stretch of the North Atlantic from Greenland and Iceland to the UK where Soviet submarines transited during the Cold War,” Bloomberg quotes Bryan Clark, a naval analyst for the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, as saying.
Interesting it might seem, Bloomberg’s report comes on the same day when President Vladimir Putin took an opportunity to descend into the depths of the Black Sea in a submersible and survey the various wonders located on the sea floor, including an 11th century sunken ship.