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Old 01-17-2018, 03:42 AM   #16
Julhelm
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It's well established that the Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641) was trailed by the Victor-class K-147 in 1985. The November that trialled the SOKS installation also trailed a US boomer departing from Guam during September - October 1969.

The Soviets also likely had advanced knowledge of US boomer deployments from intercepting SOSUS tracking reports issued when US submarines were detected by SOSUS.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:41 AM   #17
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Please cite your source for your Bolivar claim.

Fun Fact: John Walker served aboard the Bolivar.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:19 AM   #18
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The claim is from Norman Polmar's "Hunters and Killers, vol 2: Anti-Submarine Warfare since 1943", page 148, who cites the following Soviet literature in the chapter dealing with wake detection:

Rear Adm. Ye. Buzov, Soviet Navy, "From the History of the Creation of Non-acoustic Means of Detecting Submarines", Morskoy sbornik, no. 7 (2003), 59.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:35 PM   #19
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Thanks.

I'm aware of the Soviet efforts in non-acoustic wake detection. First you have to find a wake, then follow it to it's source, (while remaining undetected) which is no easy feat in a vast ocean unless you're laying in wait off a harbor entrance where you can be reasonably sure a boat will exit at some point.

In some cases, Norman Polmar's research has to be taken with a grain of salt, but he's one of the most visible, (and prolific) writers of some very niche subjects, so he ends up with more attention (and money!) He's a good historian, but a better writer, and to the best of my knowledge, never served in the Navy or even held a security clearance. With thirty books to his credit, he's a minor celebrity as well. And if there's one thing most celebrities believe, it's their opinions and ideas are more informed than the rest of the population. I'll read the Soviet side, just for fun.

Not everything that's written is true; especially where submarining is concerned. Anyone can make a claim, but the only ones who really know the full story are those who were present and those who read the mission reports.

My experiences with armchair admirals who make money writing books and have never been to sea has left me a skeptic over the years.

A few other authors come to mind - especially Drew and Sontag (Blind Man's Bluff.) They took a couple of often-told sea stories, wrote a book, and cashed in. Their research had numerous holes in it, but sometimes it's better to let someone run with a story that's not factual rather than confirming or denying the facts, which only helps the people you're trying to protect the information from getting to in the first place.

I experienced this firsthand.

In the early 90's, Drew called me at home while gathering source material, starting the conversation with, "Hi, We're writing a book about submarines during the Cold War and heard you'd be a good guy to talk to." It took me less than a minute to determine what they were really after, and we made plans to meet the next night at their hotel.

As soon as I hung up, I made a phone call to NCIS and the next day, every source in the area mysteriously dried up, and they left town empty-handed.

With their quest to try to land a Pulitzer by writing a meaty story, neither author could have cared less regarding the simple fact that the passage of time does not release anyone from their pledge to protect information that has not been declassified. They used several dubious methods to convince a few people otherwise, but most of their sources were second-rate. --So much for journalistic integrity or patriotism. I'm sure they made a few bucks trying to publish information the rest of us protect for free.

The end result is there is a tremendous amount of BS written (and repeated) online and in books masquerading as fact when it's anything but.

The old adage, "Those who don't know, talk. And those who do know, don't." is one of the reasons we call it the Silent Service.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #20
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I enjoyed Blind Man's Bluff

We'll likely never know for sure, but I do believe the Soviets had enough success with non-acoustic ASW or they wouldn't still be spending lots of money on it and equipping their frontline boats with the technology. So to me that makes their trailing claim somewhat credible.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:10 PM   #21
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From the sound of it, they might have used other means (intelligence assets) to find the boat, and then once they knew where to look were able to track it.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:11 PM   #22
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Wasn't that a part of the Walker spy issue?
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
I'll read the Soviet side, just for fun.
Sadly the bulk of the accounts are in Russian and were not translated so far. But now Polmar and others are getting to it.

For example accounts of operations Atrina and Aport from the looks of it are not well known by the local comunity.

Aport was the 1985 (1986) operation by 3 Victor-IIIs (299, 324, 502), Victor-II (488), Victor-I (147), supporting assets.
Atrina was the 1987 follow up operation by 5 Victor-IIIs (244, 255, 298, 299, 524), supporting assets.
Victor-IIIs, participating in Atrina, were fitted with improved sonar processing equipment.

The objective of the later was to deploy to Sargasso sea and from that area of operation conduct offensive ASW search for USN boomers.
Submarines operated in the wartime stance, ie limited their exposure to hostile action, did not use standard peacetime deployement routes,
were authorised to use wartime equipment and tactics (such as self propelled imitators).

The objective of the former was to deploy to the area off the coast of Newfoundland and to both study NATO ASW and to conduct an offensive search of the USN SSBNs. During operations prolonged (over 24h) contacts were established on USN SSBNs, by K-147 and K-324. The most substantial development was the use of non-acoustic sensors (wake detection equipment on K-147) to constantly track USN SSBN for 5 days.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikalugin View Post
Submarines operated in the wartime stance, ie limited their exposure to hostile action, did not use standard peacetime deployement routes,
were authorised to use wartime equipment and tactics (such as self propelled imitators).
Oh, I see..

The Soviet submarine navy does not practice its job at all when they go to sea. On anything other than combat ops they allow themselves to be trailed, make noise, and generally be easy to track on purpose.

Thank you. It all makes sense now. Wow.. that is DEVIOUS.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubblehead Nuke View Post
Oh, I see..

The Soviet submarine navy does not practice its job at all when they go to sea. On anything other than combat ops they allow themselves to be trailed, make noise, and generally be easy to track on purpose.

Thank you. It all makes sense now. Wow.. that is DEVIOUS.
Sadly, as I am a rather socially inept person it is hard for me to understand if this is sarcasm.

As to the statement itself - this is not (exactly) what I talked about. In peacetime there are restrictions both for conveniency (ie use of standard inter-theatre deployment routes, G-loading and speed limits on aircraft, etc) and for operational security (ie use of advanced decoys, radiating for radars, etc).

Atrina and to lesser extend Aport are of interest because of how those restrictions were lifted and the results they have achieved (ie during Aport K-147 shadowing USN SSBNs for extended period of time, the interactions with NATO ASW forces). The other operation of interest in that respect would be operation Bohemoth, where a Delta launched a full SLBM salvo and thus proved that it was operationally possible.

But I guess one can just stick to one's sense of superiority, atleast as far as the secrecy and language barriers stay.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:59 AM   #26
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It's very tempting to doubt a writer's credibility no naval matter for having "never served in the Navy or even held a security clearance", but to quote Fred T. Jane in Eric Grove's The Future of Sea Power: "it would be a bad day...if the principle ever gets established that unless a man is an actor he is incapable of criticising the actions of a drama...the contention world work out that 'you cannot tell whether an egg is good or bad unless you are a hen."'.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:45 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikalugin View Post
Sadly, as I am a rather socially inept person it is hard for me to understand if this is sarcasm.

As to the statement itself - this is not (exactly) what I talked about. In peacetime there are restrictions both for conveniency (ie use of standard inter-theatre deployment routes, G-loading and speed limits on aircraft, etc) and for operational security (ie use of advanced decoys, radiating for radars, etc).
You are correct in your statement. There are operations restrictions that may not apply in actual combat.

However, due to the operating environment of ships and subs those operation constraints pretty much define how they are going to perform in real life. A ship is not going to go twice as fast, a sub is not going to suddenly be able to dive twice as deep or half its noise signature just because combat started. These are things that are designed in when constructed. So if you see a ship operated one way somewhere, then you can pretty much bet it is going to operate the same way elsewhere.

Now things like radar and active sonar ARE things that you can control. But you to train with them in order for them to be useful and effective in combat. You spy on us, we spy on you, and we all learn what the other guys sensors and weapons are good at and NOT good at. I am not saying that is right to spy, but that is the facts of life.

With this being said your statement being that things are different when they went on those ops because they were allowed to 'use a wartime stance' is just garbage. The ONLY way they could be construed to have made a difference is if the Soviet navy was intentionally operating stupidly at other times. Hence my use of sarcasm.

I was in before the cold war settled down. We had a saying what was repeated OFTEN on deployment: "The Red Bear is MANY things, but dumb ain't one of them." It was a manta that kept you on your toes and thinking.

Quote:
But I guess one can just stick to one's sense of superiority, atleast as far as the secrecy and language barriers stay.
The sense of superiority statement could be made right back at you. You are reading a report and stating that it was fact. I read lots of things. Some of it makes for a pretty good laugh when you know the rest of the story.

Our own SSN's could not track a boomer that wanted to be hidden and that was with us knowing that they were going to be in a pre-defined box for a specific amount of time. Stating that a soviet SSN tracked one for hours on end seems a little far fetched to those of us who tried and failed to track our own boats. I am not doubting that you make have gotten some kind of track on one. But one that could be used for a shooting solution? No, I highly doubt that.

Now don't get me wrong. I admire what the soviet sub force was able to do all things considered. They had some really good designs and some wild out of the box thinking. Some of it WAS copied by our navy. The same is true in the rest of the WORLDS arms forced. The Soviet military has some good thinkers and designers.

In truth the Soviet navy is not a blue water force but more of a self defense force. For that role they were very well designed and they had sound tactics. It does not mean that we did not pick those tactics apart and exploited deficiencies in the equipment and tactics.

As far as the statements that I have made that you disagree with. It is fine for you to disagree with them. That is the purpose of communication.

I do not know your background nor have I asked you to elaborate. But taking a holier that thou position and just repeat a report as the writ of god? Come on now, lets be real.
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