The Corner

Anti-Sub Warfare

Numerous Navy readers, including some who plainly Know Stuff, have told me

that my thumbnail analysis

of the current

efficacy of anti-submarine technology painted way too rosy a picture.

Sample: “Derb—The consensus is that the sub gets through the carrier

screen every time. Of course, the ‘Red’ sub is crewed by our highly trained

people, rather than a bunch of conscripts commanded by three officers. See

the recent sinking of a Chinese sub for a lesson in the perils of poor

training in submarines.

“On the other hand, most third world countries deploy KILO class submarines

that transit on their diesel engine, and manuever or lurk on battery power.

A KILO on battery power lying on the bottom in shallow water is almost

impossible to hear using passive sensors because it makes almost no noise.

Contrary to the movies, you do not use active sonar (ping) when searching

because it tells the bad guy you are looking for him and broadcasts your

position. The USN has ways of dealing with KILOs. I can’t tell you what they

are, but they don’t include risking carriers in the Persian Gulf.”

Well, thank goodness for that, at least.