Mark Nicol — Daily Mail Sept 9, 2018
Deadly Russian nuclear submarines with advanced stealth capabilities are slipping undetected into UK waters, defence sources have conceded for the first time.
President Putin’s latest high-tech submarines can sail so quietly, they cannot be picked up by our underwater defence systems, including sonar.
In a chilling echo of the film The Hunt For Red October, according to military sources the new submarines have carried out missions to track Britain’s submarines as they leave the top-secret Faslane base in Scotland.
The Russians have also been mapping a network of vital energy and telecommunications and internet cables beneath the English Channel. If these were destroyed, the UK could be plunged into chaos and darkness.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that there has been a tenfold increase in Russian submarine activity in UK waters since 2015. But the actual numbers and the locations visited by Russian submarines remain classified for security reasons.
The revelations come as Russia is increasing its military activities around the world, including 25 surface vessels sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean in support of operations in Syria.
Yesterday, Russian aircraft carried out bombing raids over the Syrian city of Idlib, where the last remaining opponents of President Assad’s regime have been holding out.
This week, Russia is also due to start its biggest military exercises since the Cold War. More than 1,000 military aircraft and 300,000 servicemen are expected to take part in the Zapad-18 war games, which will also involve Chinese forces.
Last night, a defence source said: ‘We believe that a specific Russian submarine is focusing its attention on the UK naval base in Western Scotland [Faslane] and on undersea piping in the English Channel.
The propulsion systems of this new submarine are a lot more sophisticated. As a result, the submarine is a lot quieter than its predecessors. Until recently, Russian submarines tended to be horrendously noisy.’
Russian subs seeking to approach Faslane have usually been identified as they pass through a stretch of water known as the Iceland Gap. Their progress was monitored by hydrophone listening devices which could pinpoint the whereabouts of a submarine based on the noise from its propeller. This system, known as SOSUS, was developed in the 1950s.
The Mail on Sunday understands the new Russian submarine that has entered UK waters and remained undetected is the latest version of the Yasen-A.
A second sub, the Borey-A, which carries intercontinental ballistic missiles has also recently come into service.
According to nuclear expert John Large, technological advances have made Russian submarines more competitive. He said: ‘The Russians were a long way behind in submarine warfare, particularly stealth technology, but much may have changed. Russians commanders are pushing the limits all the time of what they can get away with. They are increasingly confident and aggressive.’
‘Meanwhile, the Royal Navy is arguably in a weaker position because so much manpower and resources has been concentrated on the new aircraft carriers.’