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  • The Washington Post of Februaty 13 describes a Pentagon classified planning document, The Defense Planning Guidance, which “represents a basic set of policy principles to guide the military services in planning their forces, budgets and weapon procurements.” It forecasts “intense superpower rivalry worldwide in the 1990s” and asserts that “fundamental Soviet objectives in the Third World do not appear to have changed” while “the Soviet threat in Europe has diminished,” and that there “is a need to accelerate a technological revolution in modem weaponry.” The article also tells of Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr’s written statement last fall on military strategy, which said, in part, that “Future U.S. conventional forces should concentrate on those strengths that American allies cannot provide. Foremost among these are space exploitation, sea lane protection, global power projection and a secure mobilization base in the United States.” (Ed. note: it should be recognized that while the Soviet threat against NATO forces — protecting against an invasion of Western Europe — has diminished, the need to control the oceans against the major threat of mainly Soviet submarines, is not diminishing.)
  •  An article by R. Jeffrey Smith in the 13 February Washington Post tells of recent arms control talks in Moscow. Relative to cruise missiles: “on air-launched cruise missiles, the two sides finally agreed to exclude a substantial  portion of each side’s arsenal from the future (STAR.l) treaty limitations. However, U.S. strategic bombers will be arbitrarily counted as carrying ten cruise missiles while Soviet bombers will be arbitrarily counted as carrying eight, and that the missiles be deployed aboard 40 percent more Soviet bombers than U.S. bombers.” The U.S. said it was willing to limit only long·range missiles,” (like the nuclear-tipped TOMAHAWK. of about 1500-mile range). But, the two sides could not settle on the exact type of sea launched cruise missile (includes the submarine SLCM) to restrain under a ‘side agreement’ that will not be part of the START treaty and will lack any inspection rights. While, Moscow wants to include only longer-range missiles armed with either conventional or nuclear warheads.” Both sides agreed that, “Either side can produce an unlimited number of sealaunched cruise missiles,” and that production will be monitored during the subsequent five years by both sides.
  • A study by Rand Corporation, summarized in the Washin&ton Post of 14 February notes that “Soviet operations in Swedish waters continued in strength through the first quarter of 1989, the date of the last available information, and this is in the fourth year since Gorbachev’s ascendancy to power. Thus, “the Soviet political platform in Europe is directly at odds with the goals and potential consequences of the submarine campaign,” (to penetrate with submarine probes the heart of Sweden’s coastal defense zones, including the harbors of the country’s major naval bases). “Gorbachev appears to have good reasons to see that these operations are brought to a rapid halt. But, that this has not occurred suggests that he either supports the underlying objectives of the campaign or will not curtail Soviet incursions until he can demonstrate they are causing more difficulties for the Soviet Union in the West than has been the case so far.”
  •  SUBNOTES/Jan./Feb 1990 tells of the designing of a Submersible Landing Craft (the 560) by Seaforth Subsea of Edinburgh, Scotland. Such an underwater craft can carry troops while submerged at 4 knots, from a mother ship 30 miles offshore to the beach where it would surface to offioad personnel and equipment — then submerges “out of sight until recalled by the landing party using transponder devices.”
  • NAVY TIMES of February 19, 1990, announced that Admiral Frank Kelso (a submariner) presently the COmmander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, was nominated by President Bush to be the next Chief of Naval Operations to succeed Admiral Carlisle A H. Trost, the present CNO. Born in Fayetteville, Tennessee and a ’56 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Kelso as a 6th Fleet commander is credited with helping to orchestrate the capture of the hijackers of the cruise ship ACHILLES LAURO and the 1986 air raid on Libya. “If confirmed, Kelso will become the third nuclear submariner in a row to hold the CNO post.”
  • DEFENSE NEWS of 12 February, reports that the SEA LANCE submarine launched antisubmarine missile has been cancelled — “because of technical issues that were uncovered during testing.” This long-range, standoff ASW weapon uses the Mk 50 torpedo and had been designed to provide a 70mile weapon which could extend a submarine’s kill capability against an enemy submarine far beyond the maximum 20mile range of the Mk 48 torpedo. It would also utilize the submarine’s enhanced sensor systems to detect submarines out and beyond the second convergence zone, and provide a much swifter reacting ASW system than relatively slow torpedo systems. A concept to integrate the Mk 50 Advanced Light-weight Torpedo with a rocket and used in the Vertical Launch System, is under consideration as an alternate solution for the SEA LANCE failure.
  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technoloe,y of 4 December, 1980, tells of “a new class of ballistic missile submarine which is starting to take shape on the drawing board.” Concept definition of the successor to the OIDO-class boats calls for 16 missile tubes compared to the TRIDENTs 24, and SEA WOLF technology will be used. The smaller missile capability of this strategic submarine should better meet treaty limitations which might fall out of a U.S.-Soviet agreement and a Soviet thrust for better antisubmarine warfare technology. “The size and performance of the proposed submarine will depend on the type of missile fired. Alternatives include the TRIDENT D-5 or a smaller missile with fewer warheads. The proposed submarine, it is estimated, would have a displacement of between 12,000 and 17,000 tons.”
  • DEFENSE NEWS notes that retired Admiral William Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies group in Washington, DC as a counselor-in-residence. He joins Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski in this capacity.
  • INSIDE THE NAVY of 12 February reports that the submarine combat system for the SSN-21 ‘Will not be fully capable when it is delivered to the lead ship, SEA WOLF. Development of the ANIBSY-2 submarine combat system is about three months behind the program’s current schedule and further problems could delay the delivery and increase the costs of the $1.9 billion lead SEA WOLF.
  • Armed Forces JOURNAL InternationaVJanuary 1990 says, in an Editorial: “the Navy’s Silent Service is speaking up. The SUBMARINE REVIEW had a masterful eightpage article in October, 1989, arguing for 1RIDENT. It called for a force goal of about 20 instead of 18 TRIDENTs, noting that “all that needs doing … is to remove the assumption that every missile carried by 1RIDENT will have eight warheads … This would allow each submarine to carry a· few single-warhead missiles, giving them more political clout in protracted wars and make possible a force goal of about 20 TRIDENTs!” (carrying the approximate 3,400 warheads which a START agreement is likely to allow for submarines).
  • DEFENSE NEWS of 11 December 1989 notes that the Department of Defense “is considering a variety of very intrusive arms control verification measures on its ballisticmissile submarines for a strategic arms reduction treaty (STAR’!) …. The flexibility to deploy the 7,000-mile-range D-5 would require an intrusive verification regime which we are willing to accept. ” General Robert Herres, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested that “another alternative would be to make the D-5 a single warhead missile. You can have one warhead on the D-5 without redesign.” Herres also suggested that between 3,200 and 3,600 warheads under the START ceiling be submarine based.”
  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technolou of 30 October 1989 says: –rbe Navy is planning a far more sophisticated version (of SOSUS) called the FIXed Distnbution System.” It calls for replacement of various SOSUS lines “with a new line of underseas listening posts.” The system will rely on fiber optics to transmit signals from the sea floor to information processing centers ashore. “‘The potential for (such) low-cost data acquisition and transmission systems which through their small size and burial are virtually undetectable, is obvious” – combined with a low-cost maintenance, they are increasingly attractive.
  • INSIDE the NAVY of 6 November, says that a National Intelligence Estimate claims that “over half the Soviet (submarine) fleet will be more quiet than an Improved SSN688 by the year 2005 … the (estimates) may for the first time admit that Soviet capabilities in submarine quieting and in non-acoustic/active sonar detection are so strong that it may bring into question whether Navy ASW plans are adequate.” And, the Estimate will likely show substantially more R&D is being conducted in the USSR than in the U.S. undersea warfare program.
  • The DOLPHIN of 26 October tells of the commissioning of the USS TOPEKA (SSN-754). The commissioning held at New London, Conn., had Senator Robert Dole presenting the commissioning address. The Senator stressed the importance of submarines; “America is at peace because submarines like the TOPEKA set to sea, and because outstanding servicemen and women continue to defend our country. MIS. Elizabeth Dole, Secretary of Labor and the Senator’s wife, was the sponsor for the SSN and had previously christened TOPEKA with a bottle of champagne (“which thoroughly drenched everyone standing nearby as she broke the bottle on TOPEKA’s bow) at the launching of TOPEKA.
  • At the launching of the WEST VIRGINIA (SSBN-736) at New London, as reported by the DOLPHIN of 14 October, Mrs. Robert C. Byrd was the submarine’s sponsor and christened her. Senator Byrd, her husband, was the principal speaker and said, “the Navy’s essential m1ss1on remains unchanged. It is to deter those who would challenge us from doing so, and to avoid conflicts, not start them; but if war must come, to keep the sea lanes open and erect a Spartan wall for the defense of our country against attack. So to the officers and crew of the WEST VIRGINIA, I say when you get bored on these long patrols, when nothing is happening, remind yourselves that you are succeeding in your mission and that millions of your countrymen rely on you directly to safeguard their security and protect our way of life.”
  • Defense & Diplomacy. Jan/Feb 1990 tells of the announcement, “That the first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine will be completed and in the water within five to six years.”
  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technolou of 3 February notes that the Soviet’s “slowed strategic programs, not yet officially disclosed in either capital, include the USSR’s principle nuclear submarine the TYPHOON; its most interesting ballistic missiles, the SS-18 and SS-24; and its most sophisticated bomber, the BLACKJACK. The Soviets also appear to have delayed or suspended construction of a large aircraft carrier …
  •  NAVY TIMES/January 8 lists the new Navy Captain selectees for promotion to Rear Admiral Lower Half. The submariners included in this selection of 30 unrestricted line officers and four officers of the restricted line to flag rank were; Dennis A Jones, Director Command and Control Div., J-3 Joint Staff; Archie R. Clemins, Chief of Staff 7th Fleet; Richard A Riddell, Chief of Staff, Submarine Force Pacific; Thomas J. Robertson, Chief Maritime/United Nations, J-5 Joint Staff; and the restricted line officer John F. Shipway (a 1220 management specialist), Attack Submarine Program manager, Naval Sea Systems Command. The youngest officer selected was Dennis C. Blair, 42, and the next youngest Jay L Johnson, 43- both of whom are members of the Naval Academy Class of 1968. NSL has also been advised that Hugh P. Scott, Commanding Officer Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital, has been selected to Rear Admiral Lower Half (Medical Corps.)
  • The Washineton Post reports “a dramatic decrease in Soviet submarine patrols and other naval operations worldwide.” This is confirmed by Admiral Frank Kelso, who told a Senate panel that the Soviets are sending “very few submarine patrols into the Atlantic. The Soviets have espoused a defensive doctrine. They’ve pulled back to support that defensive doctrine”. Kelso also noted that the Soviet cuts in their naval operations are also being driven by Moscow’s severe economic problems. Listed under proposed cuts in ASW programs for the FY ’91 budget was a Navy proposal to speed retirement of its older attack submarines. d
  • DEFENSE NEWS of 22 January said that the Navy announced that its TRIDENT D-5 missile program is now “on track” and on schedule, following two successful test flights last week. The missile is scheduled to be deployed aboard the USS TENNESSEE in March.
  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technoloey of 15 January reports that the GLENARD LIPSCOMB (SSN 685) “With half of its service life remaining” will be decommissioned “rather than refuel its nuclear core.” The LIPSCOMB “uses turbine electric drive instead of steam turbines for propulsion. Although quieter than the 688-class, the LIPSCOMB proved slower and the Navy opted to pursue steam turbine propulsion instead of electrical drive.” The LIPSCOMB does not require reduction gears, a significant contributor to the submarine’s noise.
  • Defense Electronics of January 1990 notes that the Navy and the House/Senate conferees agreed that non-acoustic ASW deserves well-financed research. The House and Senate agreed to provide $30 million in FY ’90 funds for a new non-acoustic program under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “Shallow water submarine detection will become an important test of non-acoustic ASW, because the growing number of Third World countries with sophisticated submarines operating in shallow waters will require advanced detection means. Unmanned underwater vehicles will also receive $100 million in R&D funds over the next five years for ASW application.”
  • Captain William Manthorpe in the PROCEEDINGS. February 1990, reports that a perusal of Soviet newspaper articles shows that Soviet “defense budget reductions of 1989 and 1990 in preparation for the start of the Thirteenth FiveYear Plan … have resulted in cuts in the Soviet Navy by the end of 1990 … Some 26 diesel-electric submarines will be reduced … The Soviet Union has decided to completely eliminate from the Baltic F1eet all submarines of the GOLF class … In 1989 (by October), 12 submarines were scrapped … What the Soviet press has not made clear is that the ships being scrapped are old and obsolete units … The Western press has reported the transfer of WIDSKEY ..class conventional submarines to foreign scrapping yards … Many of these ships have been in reserve or inactive for a long time.” (Jane’s has noted in the past that in addition to the some 360 operational subs, the Soviets have kept in reserve some 75 more boats –with skeleton crews.) u
  • Unmanned Systems/Fall 1989 reports that DARPA has released a solicitation for the production of the prototype of a rapid mine-avoidance Underwater Unmanned Vehicle (UUV) capable of detecting mine-like objects. (It would be used out ahead of a submarine probing for minefields.) The mine-avoidance UUV’s system would include fiber optic and acoustic data links to the mother submarine, sonars, vehicle, and mission controllers, and tether management systems. DARPA will supply the UUV and support equipment, a forward looking sonar, a side-looking sonar, sonar processing units, and a basic launch and recovery system.
  • In an article by Norman Folmar and Ray Robinson in the PROCEEDINGS/ February 1990, the authors emphasize: “Looking at the extensive writings of Admiral Gorshkov and other Soviet writers, it is clear the Soviet Navy considers the submarine its capital ship … The Soviet attack submarine bas thus emerged as the ship that can make the difference in an offensive sea–control or sea-denial campaign.”
  • The Washington Post of 27 February tells of the world premiere of the movie Hunt for Red October in Washington, DC on February 26. Sponsored jointly by Paramount Pictures and the Naval Submarine League, the premiere had all of the familiar Hollywood flourishes. Tom aancy, the author of the book on which this movie is based, was “wearing his usual dark glasses and holding his cigarette German-officer style” and remained quietly aloof from most of the proceedings. But he did say “it’s like having another baby.” The movie was certainly a true winner– with all of the excitement – if not more – than the very popular Top Gun. Captain Bill Habermeyer, director of the Navy’s attack submarine division is quoted as saying, “An awfully good story turned into a wonderful movie”. Then with the question, is it believable?, Habermeyer said “You have to sort of step back and enjoy it like any other movie” suspending some of one’s critical sub knowledge. Admiral Bud Edney, the Vice CNO noted that “Sean Connery was a perfect Russian Commander. I loved il We’re thrilled about it. A good recruitment film.” The article noted that Sean Connery was not at the premiere. “Maybe he didn’t want to wear that white hairpiece again, that makes him look like Everett Koop”. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh was there saying that “Our youngest son, Bill, is a sonar technician on the BATON ROUGE, so this is a very special evening for us.” When his wife Ginny had asked their son what he did on the submarine all day, son Bill said, “Mom, haven’t you read Hunt of Red October.
  • The Los An&eles Times of 1 March notes that the Soviet government newspaper Izvestia “reported that a real-life mutiny took place on a Soviet anti-sub destroyer off Sweden in 1975 – inspiring Clancy’s best seller, Hunt for Red October.” The antisubmarine ship STOROZHEVOI, according to Izvestia, tried to escape to Sweden in November 1975. The ship’s deputy commanding officer, Captain Valery Sahlin, took over the ship and led the attempted mutiny. He planned to isolate the commanding officer and other officers and deceive the crew into obeying his orders. He did get the ship out of Soviet waters in the Baltic and did get his ship into Swedish territorial waters. But the ship was intercepted and returned to base. Sahlin, it was reported, was tried by the Supreme Court’s military wing and sentenced to death by a firing squad.
  • An article in Armed Forces & Society, winter 1990, by William R. Bowman of the U.S. Naval Academy, tells of a study to examine the belief (held by Admiral Rickover) that technically trained college graduates make the best professional naval officers for commands. At the core of this study was an examination of a college grad’s performance as a military officer relative to his ability as a successful leader in a branch of the military. Actually, there was only a weak statistical relationship “between the academic world of the Naval Academy (which is oriented towards engineering) and junior officer fleet experience and performance – as measured by fitness reports and job performance reports in various types of ships. The study focu.ssed on the graduates’ first six years in the fleet and while they were serving as division heads of submarines and surface ships.

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