02:49 GMT +323 October 2019
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    US Navy Struggles to Retain Edge as Foreign Subs Crowd Oceans, Admiral Says

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    About 40 countries operate either nuclear-powered or diesel-electric submarines in littoral ocean zones or below the high seas, making for an ever-challenging environment for US subs, Navy staff director Vice Adm. James Foggo told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Foggo said Wednesday that operating in near-to-shore areas is a challenge for the United States.

    "In the littorals, the signature of a submarine can be masked by shipping noise, making it more stealthy, and so we have to keep an asymmetric advantage over other nations with our acoustic systems and we must continue to improve those."

    Diesel-electric submarines are increasingly common in national fleets, partly due to their relative low cost. Even Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, bought two Chinese Ming-class subs that its navy will put to sea in 2017.

    "The proliferation of diesel-electric subs makes it a real challenge to operate submarines in the littorals," Foggo said. "And since we don't share information with nations that we don't see eye-to eye-with – like Russia, China and North Korea— it gets harder and harder."

    Foggo is a former commander of the US Navy's 6th Fleet and a longtime submariner.


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