(From The National Interest)
While the U.S. Navy has been sounding the alarm about a resurgent Russian and growing Chinese submarine threat, much of the problem stems from the service’s much diminished anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities.
Even the combined might of today’s Russian and Chinese submarine fleet does not come close to matching the capabilities or threat posed by the once-mighty Soviet Navy—which boasted roughly 240 submarines before the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
During the late Cold War-era, Soviet designers and a number of Western analysts believed that the Soviet Union was starting to pull ahead of American designs in terms of acoustical stealth—according to a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report titled Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe.
But Russian technological progress came to a virtual standstill in aftermath of the Soviet collapse. Nonetheless, since 1991, while Moscow has tried to push forward with late Soviet-era innovations, the social, economic and political upheaval of the 1990s essentially resulted in a lost decade for the Russian submarine force as funding slowed to a trickle. Read More