tv Discussion Focuses on Undersea Warfare CSPAN August 1, 2016 6:47pm-8:01pm EDT
the senate is fought out between the 45 yard lines and so to get a solution you can't run over the minority like you can in the house so i think it served the country well. you remember from probably the first time i met you, i always told the story about what washington said when he was reportedly asked at the constitutional convention, what do you think the senate's going to look like? legend has it that washington said it will be like the saucer under the teacup. the tea is going to slosh out of the cup down to the saucer and cool off. in other words, wouldn't happen quickly. and you recall i just pointed out to you that the senate was so slow in the early part of our country, people didn't want to serve there. they would rather be in the house where the action was. so i think the senate has kind of been the brakes against the heat of the moment. against overreacting to things for most of our history. and it was employed back in the 19th century, as well. there was simply no way to cut it off until the world war i
period. good question, curt. i guess we're through. tonight on c-span3's "american history tv" in primetime, the start of two weeks of our series "the contenders." at the ran and lost but changed political history. programs about henry clay lead off the series. we'll show you a profile of the former house speaker from kentucky known as the great compromiser in the early 19th century. we'll also tour his ashland estate in lexington. also, senator mitch mcconnell talks about the legacy of henry clay as a member of the house and nat for overfour deckeds and then a look at the compromise of 1850 and the impact of slavery on the compromise that preserved the union. all of this. coming up on "american history tv" on y span 3 begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern time.
now, british embassy defense material minister steve mccarthy and others examining russia's underwater warfare capabilities and intentions. they also talk about a report titled "under sea warfare in northern why you were." it was released by the center for strategic and international studies. >> hi, hello. good afternoon, everybody. and thank you for coming to the rollout event for our newest report "undersea warfare in northern why you were." we have a few hand outs floating around. be sure to grab one on your way out. i am a senior fellow here at csis in our international security program and one of the coauthorize of the report. before we kick off, i do need to do a quick security announcement. so bear with me. overall, we feel the -- we feel very secure in our building.
but as a convener, we have a duty to prepare for an emergency situation. i will serve as your responsible safety officer at this event. so please follow my instruction should the need arise. finally take a moment to familiarize yourself with the emergency exit pathways for this room. in the back and there's one up here in the front. so additionally before we get started i need to say a big thank you to saab north america for their generous support in making today's event possible. and first up i wanted to introduce andrew metrick, he's going to give us a brief overview of the report before we turn to the panel. he's another coauthor of the report, a research assistant here at csis. so you'll be very impressed with everything he has to say. so andrew, over to you. and thank you all for being
here. >> goods afternoon. my name is andrew met system rick. i'm a research assistant and one of the authors of the study. so i'm just going to take a brief time to go over sort of what the key findings of the study were what were our big takeaways from the entire process. i think we've seen other the past couple of years an increase in russian operational tempo that have been engaged in what we perceive as new and worrying activities at sea, major components of these have taken place around the european land mass, whether that's in the ball trick or med traiterranean.
vice admiral, the commander of the allied command was quoted pretty widely about his statement where he asserted that russian actives the were at the highest level since the end of the cold war. the key thing to remember about that statement is the way u was reported often left out that last clausing with since the end of the cold war. so we really tried to hone in and make sure that we were capturing the essence of the russian threat without sort of build the russians into this ten-foot tall man that they aren't today. the russians have ad mitted that they're increasing their tempo. they stated in 2013 that their submarine activities increased 20% in 2015 when compared to 2014. as part of the study the team had the opportunity to travel throughout the region, stopping in uk, sweden, finland and
warsaw. in addition we conducted another workshop here in d.c. these were all tremendously helpful in building out our findings and making sure that we were tempering the report's conclusions correctly. so this is a useful image, it's actually taken from a study that looked at nato, anti-submarine warfare during the cold war. there's some things about it that are a little off. notably the breakout route of russian subs from the baltic sea into the north sea might not be the operational construct of the day. but however, this really captured sort of the scope of the problem. for us looking to the north, you can see the two main areas concerning the baltic and then coming out of the cola peninsula through the uk gap and out into the broader atlantic. what this doesn't show and something i want to hone in on
is the difference in the threat and the way that it has to be addressed in the baltic sea. the north atlantic is wide open, there are some exploitable choke points. nato used this to its advantage in years past. it's unclear how much this is going to be able to be used to their advantage today simply because of increases in russian capabilities which i will touch on in a little more detail later on. in the baltic sea it's really a very very difficult environment for one to conduct any submarine operations. it's shallow, it's confined. for those that operate small sub ma reins, there are many place to hide, lots of unexploded ordinates left over from world war ii and the cold war. during the most recent exercise there were reports of some of the demining units actually finding world war ii mines buried 10 feet down in the mud.
it's clearly a challenging area to operate in. and it's something that's going to have to be -- that difference between the two basins is something that needs to be remembered and respected. so what do we think the russians are up to? there's a host of activities that have been -- that we view are concerning. probably the most widely reported was the territorial -- believed to be territorial violation conducted by what most people think is a russian submarine in sweden in october 2014. there are reports that were released by the swedish ministry of defense that shows looks to be a periscope. they spent a week looking for the submarine and there was no public statement saying this is what it was, this is what we found. but again enough historical
antecedents that we're certain it was a russian sub. and then also alarmingly for our close friends if the uk, russian submarines have been reported to be operating in close proximity to the home of the nuclear de r deterrent. those are particularly concerning because of anti-submarine war craft has none of that capability. they were forced to reach out to their allies in nato to sort of say hey, we need this, get it in and start looking if are the submarines. some important things to remember about these sort of activities. in many ways russia is returning to its normal course of operations during the cold war. so what we perceive now as aggressive is really more of a return to what normalcy was. and that was one of the core things that we found in the study. there's a pretty big gap in how we perceive the activities and
what's actually going on in reality. that's not the say there aren't places where russia is actually carrying out aggressive activities. territorial violations in sweden and finland, activities in undersea cables, blocking of the laying of undersea cables, under sea cable in the baltic sea are clearly provocative. what this all sort of shows us is that russia is using its undersea capabilities is part of what we perceive to be a coercive campaign aimed at allies and partners in europe and also what these have shown is there's a current lack of asw capability and capacity amongst partners in the region. so this is sort of a snapshot of the russian navy today, looking specifically at its submarine
fleet. the russian submarine fleet is considerably smaller than it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. there were 240 submarines at the end of the cold war. there are roughly 56 in the russian fleet. looking at the russian fleet is always a challengie ining thingo simply because it's unclear what is and is not operational in the fleet. so what russia claims is often not what it actually can put to sea. that said, russia has been overhauling all of its modern core of attack submarines. diesel powered submarines. that core force is very capable, well trained and very proficient in undersea warfare. on the material side, there's a new generation of russian submarines coming out, a new blas tick missile submarine, a new attack submarine.
from what we can tell from the open source reporting, they're fantastic submarines. however there aren't many of them and they're subject to extremely difficult procurement processes and it's unclear how many of them russia will be able to afford going forward. this is -- i briefly want to talk about something that isn't talked about at lot. and it's the russian auxiliary submarine force. russia operates a small number of very small nuclear powered submarines that are capable of diving, believed to be in excess of several thousand meters. the u.s. used to operate a submarine like this, it was called nr 1. i was a small deep sub mer jens vessel used for research and other tasks. we don't operate it anymore. it was old. it had to be replaced. the difference being is that the russians in their ingenuity
figured out a way to make a deep convergence vehicle with the submarine, which is what the graphic shows here, one can only -- if one puts their imagination to it, you can imagine what a clandestine deemployable deep sub mer jens vehicle can be used for and it's scary when you think about the types of missions that it could be used for. this is something important to highlight. it's probably the most shadowy part of the russian undersea ap ra tut. it's not operated we the navy. but when you take a look at it, it's something that someone has to keep in the back of their mind. where do we think the russian navy is going? there are clear challenges. the sanctions that are a result of their activities in the u careen have hurt them, especially in terms of their ability to procure western electronics, machine tooling is
a big one, their shipyards will likely face a falloff in trained personnel sometime in the near future simply because of demographic issues and a sort of lack of funding through the 1990s and early 2000s. what i refer to as the post-soviet naval platforms encountered problems, decades long. however, this is the key part to remember, what they do have is very good. the new submarines are technically excellent. the head of the naval warfare center had a model of the new ssn built in his office because he was so impressed with it. and we're going to have to -- this is something we're going to have to monitor. in the baltic, the deezen submarine fleets, it's a little more unclear. they're prioritizing their nuclear powered boats and they've struggled with building newer diesel boats.
but what they do have is modern and it's increasingly well-maintained and the personnel behind it are generally pretty good. so sort of moving on to nato, comes as no surprise that the capabilities have atrophied. nato didn't think it was going to be involved in territorial defense if high end war fighting. in all of its documents it was looking at afghanistan, stability operations, those types of activities. that shows up in the types and kinds of equipment being purchased. that said, there is a solid core of submarines within nato. and other capabilities have fallen further than that. that said, there are some promising signs of recapitalization in places such as sweden, france and the uk. longer term there are additional opportunities in places such as
norway, spain, poland. and then there's looking further afield than that in the mid 2020s, it's likely that both france and germany will be considering how they replace their asw aircraft. so batesed on these shortcomings, to sort of meet and counter the russian threat, what were our recommendations coming out of that. they fall into three categories. the first pg what were the organizational changes that we believe needed to be made to sort of counter russian activities. the first of which is that there's a gap or wedge in the baltic sea. the two most important and most capable baltic sea states, finland and sweden aren't inside nato and have a neutrality that has to be respected. at the same time they're subject to the same sort of course of actions as nato members in the baltic sea are. so bridging that gap and finding a way that both respects their
sovereignty and allows a greater operability of capabilities is important moving forward. a lack of integrated information sharing approach across nato and the baltic sea gap in particular, that's not a problem that's particularly specific to asw. and there's been a lack of regular high intensity asw exercises. for these reasons we recommended the following. the alliance maritime strategy hasn't been updated since 2011. it should likely be revised. we thought that nato was an interesting route to take to bridge the baltic sea gap, understanding that's a first step in that there are other things going on, a partnership agreement, host support agreements that have been signed that will go a step beyond, creating a nato center of
excellence for asw, creating a common playbook for cheater saw, the outgrowth of that center and can also help drive -- there are several centers in nato that look at issues that touch asw, whether that's the center for operations confined in shallow waters, the counter mine center of excellence, their facility in italy, they can sort of drive cohesion between those. aligning the nato framework nations on the maritime groups, sort of give those a backbone that can help drive those forward and rebuild the high end war fighting capabilities, information sharing again and then an uptick in training. one of the key things about any submarine warfare, anyone that's done it will tell you that it requires constant training. it's a proficiency that has to be built and then maintained and it's something that we haven't
necessarily done over the past 15 years and something that's going to need to happen again but will not come back quickly. the shortcomings that we identified in the study we believe are the result of different investment patterns and different threat perceptions that have created a mismatched capability across the ie lines. there's a need to level set that to the greatest degree possible and where possible create synergies across the ie lines so one country is investing in one type of system and another in something that's complimentary. there are aging systems and there's a general lack of capacity. so the big three in terms of asw hard capabilities, maritime patrol aircraft, submarines, future networking allows you to drive information between submerged and surface platforms, integrating weapons on existing nato submarines, a little outside the precise scope of the
study but sort of folded into some of the other research that they have been doing on countering the russian threat more broadly. it's a powerful signaling tool to the almosts of the russian core strategy open lastly leveraging nonmilitary platforms for intelligence collection is sort of an interesting idea of how one might use ocean graphic research vessels in a crisis situation to reinforce our existing asw platforms only as censored platforms. and lastly posture changes. there's only two. the first is something that we would like to see but it is politically challenging. the russians -- i should be specific about this. in the early 2000s the norwegians deemed their subway base in northern norway to be surplus, went through the process of divesting of it, put it on sale on the norwegian
version of ebay, bought by a private investor who lease ued it to russia which raised some concerns about what exactly the russians were doing, given the current climate there have been some rumblings about the russians being kicked out. it's a useful facility. the u.s. had rotational visits there in years past, during the cold war. for countries that wish to participate in any sort of theater asw activities in the giuk gap, it's particularly use l to conduct reply and other repair type work. and second is using the former naval air station, which is currently the international airport as a support facility for rotational maritime patrol aircraft activities in the giuk gap. so that's something that is currently happening on a u.s.
basis and it's been funded through the assurance initiative. we would like the see that moving forward. other nations who are interested in participating with, rotate through there. it gives an opportunity for them to operate with other nato allies and also help rebuild the fundamental skills that really require constant training in order to maintain and build. so that's sort of what we did and what we found. if you're interested in reading a full copy of the report not just the abridged one that we handed out, go to the website. and with that i will take a two-second break to mike up the panelists and then we'll turn it over to the panel.
>> okay. i think we're good to go. sorry about that. i'm cat lien hicks. i want to thank lisa and andrew in particular for the great briefing overview of the study. as we said, there are short versions out there, but if you forgive this terrible pun would like to deep dive on this issue, there is a very full report available online which i encourage you to look at. you've heard sort of an overview of how csis's study team looked
at the issue and then we wanted to bring to you some independent experts to bring their take on this issue. and i'm pleased to have the panel before us to. to my immediate left is olga oliker who directs our russia program here at csis. her recent research has been focussed on social development in countries in transition, larly focused on russia, ukraine and the central asian and caucus successor states of the soviet union. prior to joining csis she held a number of senior positions at the rand center. to her left is steve mccarthy, the minister of defense material at the british embassy here in washington. jointly with the defense attache, he's responsible for the relationship and served among many positions as the
director of international security policy in the uk men industry of defense. final lly on the end, bryan cla. prior to joining in 2013, bryan was special asis about the to the naval operations and director of his commander's action group and he has previously served up to 2007 in the navy both enlisted and an officer submariner. we wanted to bring to you today sort of a range of perspectives from looking at russia to looking at allied partnered capability to look at what the u.s. brings and have a little bit of a conversation about where we think this panel esteemed panel thinks this issue set is going and how serious the challenge is. so if i say start with you olga and get your perspective. you've seen the briefing with j, you helped us in shaping it. i would love to get your sense of what you think the russian's objectives are with regard to
its development of the naval and sub surface capabilities and the extent to which they's manife manifesting itself, pursuing those objections is manifesting itself in the activity that we've seen >> i would like to begin by saying this is an excellent report. and i do recommend reading the whole thing. my only real quibble with it is in its hit until the sense that we're not actually -- it's not warfare. it's preparation,deterrents, it activities but it's not actually wa warfare. that's an interesting thing to think about when you're looking to respond to another nation, what are you doing because it would make you more effective in an actual conflict and what ru yo doing for various political goals. that's important also in looking at russia. and i think also as the report very clearly reflects and i think andrew's overview
suggested, what are the challenges after looking at russian military development today is there is this steady contrast. i would tell you a story about how incredibly good russian capabilities are, about how quiet the subs are, the cruise missiles. i could tell you that story. i could tell you a story about how incompetent and backwards they are, how aufg they've got -- the most modern things they have were in development for two decades and they only have a handful of them. so what's the truth here. my take tends to be -- and i think this is true of the russian forces as a whole, you've got an improving system with pockets of real competence and spots of excellence. and that submarines are definitely one of the pockets of competence but they're small pockets. moreover i think it's important to remember that the navy is not
the priority for the russian federation. we can talk about naval priorities. but when we talk about russian naval priorities with e with have to remember that the navy only started getting resources recently because the military has a whole has more resources. throughout the jt 90s the navy was at the bottom. it's a trickle down e vekt. they get around to supplying and helping the navy when they've taken care of everything else. having said that, what do i think the prospects are. i think that again, you've got this interesting steady contrast. the soviet union made it clear that the core mission of the navy was strategic nuclear deterrence. and yet in the strategic nuclear deterrence mission the navy was not by any stretch of the imagination the most important piece of it. the russians think of their
mobile mobiles as their survivable leg. the most important thing for the navy wasn't that important for the rush hand armed forces as a whole. the russians are still putting a lot on the fleet. i would argue not because they think it's that survivable. they're not even patrolling that much. but a lot of it is about parody with the united states perceived as a sort of equality. but in the context of how they think about fighting, again these things don't patrol that much. they can fire from port but that makes them really bad ecbms. so that is a priority. but it's an odd priority. you do have these new systems that are coming online, most of them in development since the '90s, the s class, the diesel sub got in trouble, canceled in 2011, brought back on in 2012.
there's a revamped kilo class that is much quieter. there's a new class in development but it's not clear what it's going to be. they've not been behind the propulsion. they're working on this stuff. the more money gets put into it, the more they're going to be able to do. but if the russians are cash strapped, we're going to see dribbles and drabs coming out of a defense industry that is not very effective. this doesn't mean we get to ignore the russian navy. what we have seen is that they will use what they've got to punch above their weight politically. and it gets back to my first thought that you have to understand this politically as well as from a warfare context. they are not averse to being dangerous for the sake of provocative and they're
operating in the same spaces we are and they're not an ally. we need a reasonable and rational set of responses. i think, you know, i think the key when we think about our responses is they think we're pretty good, right? they're worried about falling behind in submarines. worried about falling behind to china who they've been sell some of their more advanced submarine system to. but that's a different question. but they think we're bigger, stronger and better. i think i'm good to prove them right. i'll leave that there. >> steve, from the uk perspective, be great to get your thoughts on how you see the russian threat but also the uk has already signalled in many ways through the sdsr in 2015 that there is an acknowledgment that asw is a capability area that's needed. i would love to get your take on how you see the asw challenge and how the uk is looking to
meet it and any thoughts you might have have on working with the u.s. and nato on that. >> first let me point on the valuable timing and use of the report. i think it's good because it shines a light on an area that's been a bit of a cinderella in the weeks and year, the new european security challenge. let me offer you forour five thoughts to answer your question but also that stem from having read the report. if first is a context chur one. the undersea issue in the broader context. this is one facet of it. and it's important that we look at it. but it also strikes me as very crucial that we don't sort of lose sight of it as a broader issue that we have to deal with. in that respect, one knew yanuae
that i thought was interesting, the baltic sea and the black sea, both of those seas happen to have a russian land base as part of them. and so one of the things we ought to be careful not to forget about when we talk about the undersea dominance and threat, land based systems that have an impact on the environment. all of which i think emphasizes a conclusion that does come out in the report, which is that we have to look at the whole issue through a strategic lens. this is not about submarines or maritime patrol aircraft. this is about the whole thing and how to deal with it, my first point. second issue, although the report rightly highlights and i just came in at the end and heard the point about consistent training which is absolutely correct, actually it's not like we're starting with a blank sheet of paper. just last month we have the wonderful dynamic titled mon
goose exercise. if there's a competition for an exercise name that has to be well up there. that had 3,000 sailors and air crew from eight allied countries taking part doing specifically the things you're talking about in the report, using allied submarines as threats and as detection targets and aircraft. that's the sort of thing we clearly have to sustain and do more of. turning now to investment, quite right, a lot of focus has to be made on investment, interview last published last november. uk has returned priorities into that space. we saw last week the contract for the nine maritime patrol aircraft. we're investing in new type 26 anti-submarine warfare. all of those things take time. but not least one of the reasons
why the british government decided to go for pa, because of rapid availability because this is a problem that we recognize we now to have let's say pay more attention to than approximately we thought we would have that when we were lacking at this last in 2010. one of the things that pa gives us is not just an established airplane but also a really big opportunity for cooperation with the united states with other users like australia and some of the local allies in europe in due course when they make their own decisions. and in that respect, while the recommendation in the report that it's expanded and used and important, let's not forget we'll be basing our p 8s in scotland, which happens to be at the other end. uk is important from my perspective. there's an opportunity to work with the u.s. navy.
we were already having those conversations. similarly, i think when we're talking about that particular part of the world, let's not forget what the g stands for. greenland is recovered for -- covered for defense and security purposes by denmark, a country which the uk has a long defense relationship as does the united states. and that gives you an opportunity to work with the community. and there's a little focus in the report on sweden, finland and norway. let's not forget denmark in there. they're an important player. last point for me, you talked in the report about potentially using the code. there's a good argument for doing that. there are other games in town too. we are are part of a forum which we call the northern group which comprises the uk with the baltic sfats plus germany, plus poland and the netherlands. all of the countries that have
an interest. and the uk led joint expedition nair force, the focus on land generical generically, also includes the baltic states, norway, the netherlands and denmark as well. so i think as we go forward, one of the things that we will increasingly do, certainly from the uk perspective is to see this as the nato issue because it's important that we look at the angles in this and recognize there are others who help bridge the gap to countries who don't happen to be allies and then they will bring us along as well. >> let's build on exactly that point going to bryan. there's incredible wealth of challenge sets for the united states navy globally. can you talk a little bit about where this sort of fits in and where the u.s. brings unique or particularly valuable expertise
and capability and maybe where others can step in with complimentary capability? >> so i would say that thinking about -- it's real important to think about what the russians may be trying to do with their submarine fleet and we can figure out the approaches to counter them. the report is terrific. i have to commend you on it. you did a great job of highlighting the challenge open how nato and the u.s. might go about trying to deal with it. the small but capable russian submarine force is not a great asset for trying to do large scale operations. it doesn't give you the capacity to try to do large scale strikes or surface warfare against a big navy fleet. but it offers the russian's the opportunity to put a threat against the united states homeland that owe wise they would have to achieve via intercontinental ballistic missiles. this during the cold war this was a huge concern of the united
states, we had ways of trying to deter russian large scale nuclear attacks but we didn't have a great way of preventing the rush hand submarine from getting close to the coast. and sha seems like it might be a far out there scenario, but if you think about it, if we're in conflict with the russians in eastern europe, an opportunity for them right to be impart to rush hand leaders that there are submarines near the coast that could conduct an attack on the u.s. with a nuclear weapon or just a conventional strike that causes the united states to have to pour resources into defending our own coastlines in a way we haven't had to do since world war ii. that may be an approach that russia is trying to use with his submarine force because of its small size and high capability. the giuk gap is protected and we have a way of tracking submarines that pass that barrier and keep an eye on them
until they complete their deployments. that was something we did during the cold war because of the concern about the potential for russian submarines to attack the u.s. coastline. you think about the united states right now does this by mounting a pretty significant anti-submarine effort up in the northern atlantic and then sending submarine after submarine to trail these guys as they make their deployment south which puts a big demand on u.s. submarines. they're some of the other submarines capable of doing the track and trail operation. opportunities for allies to contribute to that would be, for one, britain has excellent attack submarines. i've got to see, on the astute we did an exercise tracking a virginia class submarine. they do good at that. the crews are proficient. they're good at that kind of operation. right now britain has a demand to send a submarine over to east
of suaz which keeps the submarines busy maintaining the presence in the middle east. if they were to shift the to focus and contribute to this effort, that could offer an opportunity to reduce the demand on u.s. forces. if you think about also this idea of finding the submarine as it's leaving the norwegian sea, britain and other countries with maritime aircraft can contribute to that effort. the main way you do that is you use a submarine or a deployed sensor and now you would use unmanned sensors to contribute to find the submarine and then you send an airplane out there to drop sonar buoys to get an idea of where it is and follow it along until a submarine picks it up and trails it for the remainder of the time you need to keep an eye on it. the other countries in the
region, norway, britain could contribute maritime patrol aircraft to that mission or unmanned sensors to that mission which has a lower barrier to entry for the countries that may not be able to mount the nevadament that you need to create a maritime ability from scratch. but these systems need an attending vessel. a country like a sweden or a denmark could help. there are opportunities there for the partners and allies to contribute to the main effort that would be having to be undertaken under russian submarine developments. >> can i ask you, others can comment on this, the environment of the baltic sea, a different animal the types -- also an area that the u.s. has not had the best experti expertise, how should we be thinking about a networked
approach inside the baltic and maybe in particular olga, if you could comment on how the russians might think differently if they do about the baltic. either steve or bryan, if you have thoughts on that. >> the baltic, i've been up there on surface ships. a var challenging environment. it's shallow. there are a lot of mines in the bottom of the sea beds still. acoustically very difficult. the russians don't do a lot of submarine deployments there which is why they have a small number up in st. petersburg. but there's opportunities there because of the shallow water and the acoustic environment, there may be some passive technologies where you could put sensors on the bottom there and be able to monitor a shallow area like that
for submarine operations. it can be effective because it's a constrained area that even a short ranged system can give you coverage over what's needed. out of the baltic and into the sea. >> two other points. first is the other thank's different about the baltics, it's an inland sea, surrounded by land which provides some opportunities for greater use of systems that exist. the other piece about it is that much to people's surprise perhaps that the level of coordination on even surface traffic monitoring on the baltic sea have not been as great as you may think it may be. we've been developing with the countries in that part of the world membership in an organization or a system that enables us to join up surface tracking of vessels coming in and out of the baltic sea. we need to do that for sub surface tracking too. but i think the opportunity is
there and the political will is there. the big catch is the investment there. that's the question. >> a few thoughts. one, not on this topic but i wanted to respond to bryan. i'm not really worried about the u.s. attacking the u.s. homeland. i think they're pretty well deterred. i worry about a lot of things, but an escalator strike on the u.s. homeland, i think we're in really bad shape if that's happening for a whole lot of reasons and we're prepared for it and we're probably all dead within 45 minutes. happy thought. i they's what you're talking about when you start talking about homeland strikes. the baltic is interesting. aim going to echo some points. it's not a great submarine area. the russians with as far as they prioritize things in their navy prioritize submarines, they don't prioritize the baltic fleet. they prioritize the northern
fleet. the baltic fleet has not gotten so much. it's below the black sea fleet which has gotten a lot more activity recently. they've also just fired most of the senior command of the baltic fleet for corruption and incompetence. so i think you know, let's not get too excited about the russian capabilities in the baltic. the ka i do think this is a place that the united states should rely on its allies and friends in the neighborhood who are familiar with this environment, who have been operating in it, who have been watching the russians there. and that's kind of my take on core competencies. making sure that you can take advantage of what your friends bring to the table. >> i wanted to push a little bit on this issue of how serious the
challenge that is in the baltic. we do try to be, i think you put it kindly as rational and reasonable, but you know, easy for us to say here, when you travel through the region, as people think, as steve said about an overall challenge set and you think if you're sitting in anywhere from finland to poll land or sweden and you're thinking about how russia could bring to bear even minimal submarine capability as part of an overall challenge set, it was at least to me somewhat remarkable how little as progressed even though the russians as you say have put it low on their priority list. it's still better than nothing. >> yes. >> so i guess this gets to the issue of how seriously should we take over all of the military, joint military approach of the russians with -- as they pop up everywhere and show force. sit just show of force or are
they really exercising some operational capability. that can be relevant. >> of course it's both. but the question is what is the operational capability for. yes there's an a 2 ad component. you don't want other people operating in your area. and if you don't want them exercising, playing in our area, that means you're exercising capability to keep them out in the event of conflict. these are kind of the same thing. and a lot of it is russia pointing out that it's their neighborhood, that they're active there, that you have to reckon with them. and again do we plan to fight a war there. they really don't plan to fight a war there. there is very little evidence to suggest. they're trying to avert a war there. you know, it's all a mutual deterrent scam. that doesn't mean we stay out of it. it doesn't mean we say okay, we near not worried, we're deterred. but we do have to keep in mind is keeping them not wanting to
fight that war rather than encouraging it. >> steve, i want to just pick up and we'll open to the audience in just a minute. i want to pick up on the points you and bryan made between you about the points of networks and working together across nato but then also beyond nato. it would seem to me as if almost all areas, the information sharing challenges here are significant or at least i should say it's important that we overcome information sharing barriers. is this an area that's been a focus from your perspective in the us or even for nato to think about how we have fluid information sharing on anti-submarine capabilities? >> i mean, yes and no is the short answer to that. yes on the one hand because everyone recognizes the more you share information the better we'll get. in this particular debate there are limitations from all of us because of our capabilities and i think that's something that we've managed over the years in
very close working relationships in the uk. we have to see how we can go in other directions with other countries. i also think the nature of what we're deal with to slightly pick up, i think the thing that olga was trying to get to can be more simple that people like to try and make it. at the end of the day it's a big ocean and submarines can be small pu but there are geographical features that allow you to do things. it's certainly the same in the context of the uk gap. there are ways that we used to do in in the cold war. perhaps we had to reunderstand and relearn some of the lessons. >> same kind of question for you bryan, your perception that in the u.s. navy that there's appreciation for if need to work with our allies and partners in this space in what's been a traditionally very -- ultimate sovereign space really has been the sub surface warfare.
is there an openness to getting to a point where we can share the information when needed? >> the different might be looking at the undersea warfare that we do with submarines. anti-submarine warfare which the u.s. does traditionally with airplanes and surface ships. there's more information sharing on the anti-submarine warfare side. and the allies have effective capabilitie capabilities. there's been examples that we've done over the cold war and still do today, effective information sharing between allies to accomplish that mission of anti-submarine warfare. undersea warfare is very different. we don't have the same level of information sharing. but it's improving. with the uk the u.s. shares a lot of information. they're trying to increase the amount they share with france and then other countries less so, partly because don't have the capability to exploit the technologies that the u.s.
submarine force might use. very helpful. we're going to open it up for questions. i'm going to ask you to give your name an affiliation if you have one. there's a mike coming your way. >> thanks very much. great panel and any panel that talks a lot about submarines is okay in my book. two-part question. perhaps the former submariner in the room wants to address this. throughout the cold war we spent a lot of time doing anti-submarine warfare and pretty much everybody acknowledges we weren't as good as it as we wanted to be. you know, what are w doing to get further up the curve given that everybody is rusty in this skill set even though everybody is focusing more attention on it? from an under sea structure standpoint, the russian versions of nr 1 are particularly vexing from that standpoint and at this point we're trying to track
them, some tack whether or not surface ships are carrying them sometimes to places that make detection and tracking difficult. and when you look at it against our undersea infrastructure, we don't have the capabilities that we once had to literally have the oceans wired the way once upon a time we did. it's a two-part thing for anybody to take it. what are some of the things we have to do to get better on the power curve? what is the investment level and is anybody interested in investing what needs to be invested to take care of the problem? >> so i'll say on the first part, anti-submarine proficiency is something that people talk about a lot. a lot of training is necessary and you have to do the operations to stay up on the curve. one thing we're finding that i think is going to be a feature of future anti-submarine warfare is moving away from the skill
intensive approaches where i've got to go out and practice it every day and getting good at being able to look at what the trace looks like and know the different sound signatures. the art rather than the science. we're moving away from that and toward a technological solutions that allow you to do the types of thing underwater that we've done above the water. allowing you to have a sound signature get classified as something you care about or don't care about. the automatic target motion analysis and fire control systems that can cothat. the things that we do with radar today, we're looking a the doing those with acoustic energy as well. it's turning anti-submarine warfare from art to science and it's becoming a little more and likely to be in the future much more of the fire and forget approach to warfare that we use in anti-warfare than it is in a labor and skill intensive effort
that takes hours and day to undertake. i would draw a big distinction between that shift toward the fire and forget kind of approach in combat to what we do in peacetime which is this very surveillance labor intensive effort to track and trail a submarine to develop the technology to do more fire and forget method that i'm going to use in wartime. and anti-aub marine warfare has two different dimensions that require two different approaches and one problem that we have right now is we try to use the same approach for both. anti-submarine warfare is hard because you think about how we do it today. but when it comes to fighting i'm going to take a much different approach. if you look at the previous con fliblgs, it's been about shooting at the submarine to make it go away and then maybe 20% of the time you actually kill it. but the submarine is off not bothering you anymore. we're going to have to return to
that idea that combat is different than surveillance in peacetime for anti-submarine warfare. >> anyone else want to comment? >> you mean for the undersea infrastructure. >> yes. >> big vulnerability for the united states. the vulnerability that we have to consider is not so much undersea capables. there are 300 undersea cables around the world that carry 95% of the communication traffic. but right now about a quarter of them are dark. they're not being used. there's fair capacity available. now it ooh not in a place that you need it. there have been outages. outages all of the time where we have 50 or 60 of the outages a year and they're repaired and we move on. as the infrastructure is built up under sea, we're at the point where we're able to recover it and this idea of a catastrophic loss of communication is not a big of a scenario for a big country like the united states. it can be big for a country
that's relatively isolated or whose cables go to one place. that's more specific to a particular country or location. the bigger undersea infrastructure challenge is the idea that we've got a lot of stuff under sea that make potential targets that create a demand for labor intensive responses. so if russia was to attack a piece of undersea infrastructure in the gulf of mexico, it wouldn't be kcatastrophic but i would be a cost imposition. >> right here. >> peter hump. the it possible to use technology on a drone or lighter
aircraft on a continuous basis to really effectively reveal all russian maneuvers 24 hours a day? seems to me that might be possible and not each that expensive. >> magnetic anomaly detection does work. it must work. we've been deploying them for aircraft for generations. it's extremely short range. so one thing you've got to think about if it can only detect a submarine, you know, a mile or two away, it's a very short range. how many of those surveillance aircraft am i going to need to be covering an area of ocean. you can think about the cost becomes sort of astronomical very quickly. there's ideas of shifting those to unmanned vehicles, like little unmanned vehicles that you could buy in large numbers. they have short endurance, that's the down side. i've got to replenish them frequently. it's a technology that could be used but you eve got to think about it as being a localized approach than maybe as a search
technique. >> there have been a course of significant debate, conversation around whether there are technologies in the near that could change the undersea pa paradi paradigm. you want to comment in general about that? >> in general what's happening is because of this, you know, the quieting of sub thmarines, s likely that the countries are going to shift to using active sonar activctivitieactivities. they are going to be much more vulnerable to that than they would be passive sonar. that's already happening. you can see that our allies are already fielding the sonars that operate. and the russians and the chinese are pursuing similar technologies. it's improving so that it's
feasible in a couple of generations those technologies would be able to contribute adds well. but the big thing that points out is the focus that we've had on submarine quietening won't be sufficient. you can't build a noisy submarine because you've got to deal with passive sonar but you've got to teal with the fact that the underseaworld is more like the above the water world where active sonar is going to be a problem so i have to think about hiding myself using acoustic energy to jam or decoy as well as being quiet. so it makes the below the water world much more like i above the water world. >> sydney? >> thank you all. mr. mccarthy, question particularly for you, although other people wish to second-guess your comments, i welcome that as a member of the media. one of the things that i was struck by in the report was how
starkly royal navy ability as declined in this area more so than perhaps a lot of other allies. with the carriernimrods with the care going away. what of the things like the carriers type 26, type whatever is coming next, will help rebuild that uk submarine warfare capacity, and to what degree because the uk retains its global ambitions, the submarine eastern suez, does the uk bring itself too thin doing the opposite of the idea nato power should not try to do it all, because none of them has the economy to support doing it all? >> well,@three capabilities you mentioned probably answered your question. antisubmarine capability, it also has search and rescue type activities and submarine capability. the reinvestment or the
investment that will come in the 26 program, which to replace submarine warfare as next generation warfare, surface vess vessels, and so one of the things that the sdsr 2015 did was a change of direction, if you like, was end the what sometimes gets called the carrier and pause in ability, both of the things that we deleted in the 2010 review. if you take that point as a starter, though, the reason the uk tried to get out of the capabilities in 2010 was entirely to do with the program, so the government took some painful decisions which we didn't want to take in an ideal world in order to make the program balanced, but even while we did that, we began to invest in new carrier capabilities, build the vessels and now significantly involved from
coming to service in the next few years, and we retained from a skills perspective a capability by posting british airmen on to american or australian and other nation maritime patrol capabilities, so we kept the skills base going even through that gap so when maritime patrol aircraft return to our air at the end of this decade when the p8 comes into service, we have a crew of people that will be joining us through the next generation. while it's true we took a pause, the focus of the decision we took last year is to get back into that space, and that's in part because, as the report points out, five, six years ago we thought this was not such a strategic priority. now it seems to be coming back again. we're responding to that. >> probably also just worth mentioning, slightly off topic, the parliament passed the success program continuation this week. do you want to say anything about that? >> we, it was an important
parliamentary moment for us, the vote to replace the uk's submarine-based continuance deterrence passed on monday by an overwhelming majority, somewhat of a hundred votes more than the last time it was put to vote about ten years ago. i think in this context that's a slightly different version of undersea warfare, but obviously very important to us and some of the reinvestment that we protect that capability. >> sure. i had a question in the back over here. left side. >> yes, i'm russell king, former naval patrol officer with a question for ms. oliker, i believe. right now there's a question of the northern sea route becoming an international route, might take a few years, obviously, but i was wondering what the situation of the undersea situation in the north atlantic is to the development of that route from the standpoint of all the stakeholders in that route.
>> you mean in terms of trade? >> what's that? >> in terms of trade? >> in terms of how does the undersea situation in the north atlantic, how would it impact that? i would think that if we're going to have a sea route that would become an international sea route potentially we would certainly want to be concerned with the undersea situation and how it impacts that. >> so, russia is one of the bigger proponents of shipping stuff through the north, you know, they are the most excited people about global warming on the planet because it will, you know, they think it will improve their ability to transport goods. so i'm not terribly worried about their trying to disrupt that militarily, as long as everybody is at peace. if any more on any other route where you have military capabilities, as well as commercial capabilities, which is everywhere, if you have a war, then, of course, commercial
shipping is endangered, but, again, the same as it would be anywhere else. i don't know that this theater presents a particularly unique or interesting consideration of the context. >> i think you indicated the other way around, to some extent from a military strategic, because a number of the world's checkpoints may become rather less significant than they currently are, and i suspect. so, there is a sense in which the shifting global trade pack when that happens changed the dynamics of the world's trade system works and will have a consequence in due course. well, and it could create, again, tertiary effect, but it could create more competitors for resources for naval capability, because search and rescue, other requirements start to go up. that creates challenges for
balancing. >> but i think overall, the commercial development, you know, if anything, it creates greater disincentives to militarize, although you have a desire to protect your investments as you can see by the russian movements in the arctic, our military. >> okay, very good. i think we -- i thought we had another one over here. yes, please. >> i'm hank gaffney, don't have access to classified, of course, we did a lot of studies of the russian navy, and i've been -- but i've been googling to find out what the condition of the ssn in the northern fleet have been, and i'm getting not being able to pin down the numbers. i can figure out maybe five are good, although they've been listed as being under repair for a long time.
and i think it's 1 sierra 1 and another is supposed to emerge in 2017. i even see one victor three still alive. are they really operative? are they good? >> order of battle. over to you. >> you can read to count this and spend more time doing it in his day-to-day life than i do. i think it's interesting to look at patrol rates, as well as what's operational, what's not. patrol rates are still pretty low, and i find that striking. and then in terms of what goes in for repair, what comes back out for repair, yeah, depends on when you look and the news varies and perhaps the folks following it on classified realm have a better sense of it, but my guess is if you're googling and you're paying attention to what folks are saying, you've got about as good of a sense of
it as i do. i don't have any, you know, special insights. >> anyone else want to weigh in? okay. very good. i had one more somewhere. yes, right here. >> hopefully, my company forgives me for asking the question, michael lee from e.b., that's electric boat, sorry, we do nuc subs. there's the nato e-3 sentry pool, the nato c-17 pool. any chance of, like, a nato p-8 or whatever they roll out next out of airbus for their next generation and, obviously, what the lower barriers of entry, some sort of alliance common, you know, platform that, you know, doesn't matter whether it's a norwegian, what the heck, sweden, finland, patrol craft that you can just, you know, take it around to whoever?
>> do you want me to start that? i mean, the road of potential nato programs is long and extremely rubble. and i think there are some quite good arguments thinking about it in principle. in practice it tends to come out not quite that way. particularly in this domain we're discussing today, there tends to be a lot of concern to keep national sovereign capabilities. so one of the issues with developing a nato wide capability is who owns it, who orders it where, what's the basis it does its own patrolling and the need in particular, relatively scarce assets, sometimes send them outside the nato theater of operations, so that's one of the concerns the uk has had about engagement in nato-wide capabilities. our personal approach is more in the uk based on trying to pool and share capabilities and make sure they are interruptible and give them all the intelligence and the training that we can to
support them, but make sure the individual nations provide those assets for the broader good, rather than having a big collective program. >> can i just ask, building off of that, you mentioned in your remarks about working with the u.s. on rotational, asw, npa in particular out of -- if i'm saying that correctly. do you think there's opportunity there to move beyond u.s./uk and have a broader sort of opportunities for exercises or rotational operations out of that location? >> yeah, absolutely. i think that's probably for the future we need one or two countries to make some important decisions first. assuming they do, certainly. >> okay, i want to thank everyone for coming this morning. i want to thank in particular our research team, andrew, lisa sam, i see kathleen back there, one of our former interns who helped us on this, and t
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