A senior U.S. military officer has again sounded the alarm about the threat that advanced, very quiet, cruise-missile-armed Russian submarines, as well as Chinese ones, increasingly present to the United States. At a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, U.S. Air Force General Glen VanHerck, who is head of U.S. Northern Command and the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command, told lawmakers that Russia’s growing fleet of nuclear-powered Yasen class guided-missile submarines, in particular, are nearly on par with U.S. Navy types in terms of quietness and will present a persistent threat to the American homeland unlike any before within five years. He added that, at its current pace of modernization, the Chinese Navy would not be behind for long in terms of similar capabilities.
VanHerck made these comments before members of the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing on missile defense on June 15, 2021. The general was one of five officials testifying before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, the others being Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Leonor Tomero, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Director Navy Vice Admiral Jon Hill, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command head Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler, and U.S. Space Command chief Space Force Lieutenant General John Shaw.