– Guardian – Marine experts in Norway believe they have stumbled upon a white whale that was trained by the Russian navy as part of a programme to use underwater mammals as a special ops force.
– War Zone – What we can see so far highlights the “special projects” submarine’s deep-sea intelligence gathering capabilities.
– Washington Free Beacon – Russia unveiled one of its nuclear superweapons on Tuesday launching its first submarine capable of firing high-speed underwater drones armed with massive nuclear warheads.
– National Interest – In the early 1980s, a series of dangerous naval maneuvers on both sides brought the superpowers to the brink of nuclear catastrophe. Here we go again.
– CIMSEC – Almost five years following the Minsk Agreements, the war in Ukraine has claimed the lives of over 13,000 individuals. While much of the attention has been on the annexation of Crimea and continuous fighting throughout the Donbas region, Russia has more recently added a maritime component to its campaign with aggressions in the Sea of Azov. The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, sees the possibility of the region being used as a “springboard for further expansion,” a land invasion of Mariupol being his greatest concern. While many may fear expansion into the land environment, the far more likely scenario is westward progress by Russian naval forces, furthering their disruptive campaign off Ukraine’s coastline.
– RIA Novosti – The new submarine cruisers of Project 955 “Borey” in the coming years will become the main naval component of the Russian nuclear forces. Under the heavy lids on the deck of each of the “strategists” are hidden 16 ballistic missiles “Bulava”, every second ready to strike. On the eve of the Submariner’s Day, a RIA Novosti correspondent boarded the nuclear submarine Yury Dolgorukiy, talked to the commander and found out why these ships are one of the main causes of insomnia for NATO admirals.
– USNI News – The Russian Improved Kilo-class submarine Krasnodar (B-265) made an unexpected southbound passage through the Bosphorus Strait on Thursday. The submarine assigned to the Black Sea Fleet entered the Mediterranean the next day. Under the Montreux Convention rules governing warships in the Black Sea, there are specific restrictions around passage in and out of the Black Sea, including by submarines.
– Washington Times – The commander of the military’s Northern Command warned this week that Moscow is deploying conventionally armed missiles that for the first time are capable of striking targets deep inside the United States.
– The Hill – The Russian Navy reportedly has installed non-lethal weaponry aboard the frigates Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov. According to official news agency RIA Novosti, the device, dubbed “Filin,” radiates a beam similar to a strobe light during nighttime operations. It is designed to disrupt eyesight among hostile ship crews, impairing their battle effectiveness to Russian advantage.
– Popular Mechanics – Newly declassified documents show that even the most secretive submarines leave a trail.
– War Zone – The first in a two part series gives un an unprecedented look at the state of Russia’s Akula class sub fleet, including some awesome interior footage.
– National Interest – A 3,700-mile endurance, roughly translating into an 1,850-mile range, could allow the upgraded Backfires to strike targets in the mid-Atlantic. With new weapons, the farther-flying Tu-22M3Ms could pose a new threat to American ships and other targets.
– USNI Blog – What is less mentioned however—and this is no less important—are the more exclusively operational aspects of the recent crisis in the Sea of Azov. Especially important would be the state of the Azov Sea littoral battlespace, current and going forward. A closer look at this matter is perhaps in order.
– War on the Rocks – Russian maritime dominance in the Black Sea is back.
– Washington Free Beacon – Kalibr cruise missiles will target Washington, East Coast cities.
– National Interest – The United States must act cautiously to defuse the new crisis in the Sea of Azov.
– Sputnik News – The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane running along the Russian Arctic coast, allowing passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Northern coast of Siberia. Starting in 2019, foreign warships will only be able to sail along the Northern Sea Route after notifying Russian authorities.
– Defense News – Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s naval vessels is illegal, no matter whose version of events is true, according to three international law experts.
– Defense News – Russia’s brazen seizure of three Ukrainian navy ships on Sunday set off a firestorm of finger-pointing and appeals to international law on both sides. But the clash over the Kerch Strait and access to the Sea of Azov isn’t likely to become a long-running international spectacle like the ongoing maritime feud between the U.S. and China over China’s claims in the South China Sea.
– Washington Post – The Nov. 25 skirmish between Russian Border Guard and Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait has escalated tensions not just between the two countries, but also between Russia and NATO.
– BBC – Russia has fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries.
– War Zone – The weapon gives any surface ship with torpedo tubes, as well as submarines, a stand-off anti-submarine capability.
– CIMSEC – The loss of floating dry-dock PD-50 may have a more significant long-term impact on Russia’s ability to sustain its Northern Fleet. The ability of Russia to recover, repair, or even replace the dock assumes considerable importance because it is a maintenance asset of strategic import. Russia’s ability to overcome this setback is further complicated by European Union (EU) sanctions, where the legal and practical effects of the EU sanctions regime will strongly affect Russia’s ability to replace this key maritime asset.
– Breaking Defense – A Russian fighter plane gave a US surveillance plane an unexpectedly rough ride on Monday, part of an increase in tensions in the Black Sea.
– War Zone – Russia’s biggest dry dock has completely sunk and it’s debatable if it has anything that could fully replace it anytime in the foreseeable future.