Submarines: April 20, 2005

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American submariners are fighting hard to get money to replace their rapidly ageing boats. Its an uphill fight. Submarines havent been used much in combat for over sixty years. That means they have not had a chance to prove how useful submarines can be. So the submariners are letting slip information on some of the important, but top secret, work they do perform. First it was news of the Cold War missions to tap into Russian undersea communications cables. Then there were the revelations about the use of subs to deliver SEAL commandoes, or even marine raiding parties. The latest revelation is that SSNs accompanying carrier task forces are using special antennas (design details are definitely not discussed) that allow the subs to collect electronic traffic in areas carrier task forces have just left. This is useful because it's become common for hostile nations (North Korea, China, Iran, France, Etc.) to shut down a lot of wireless communications and radars when an American carrier task force is in the area. This is because it is common knowledge that intelligence specialists on these ships monitor the local electronic traffic and collect useful information. To get around this, the SSN accompanying the task force will linger after the carrier leaves, and wait until the locals turn their electronic gear back on. Since the SSNs are very hard to detect, theres not much the locals can do about this. Moreover, you never know when an American SSN is slinking offshore, using its special antenna system to capture whatever is in the air. 

 


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