Russia has deployed its silent nuclear submarines to the Middle East. The arrival of these vessels further empowers Russian position in Syria.
These are the quietest subs in the world. NATO has termed these Russian subs “Black Hole.” They are diesel electric powered and fire Tomahawk-style rockets from the sea.
The subs are also known as Rostov -on- Don and the Russians have already used them against ISIS and al Qaeda. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with Russia President Vladimir Putin recently held a televised meeting and broadcast footage of the submarines striking at ISIS targets.
One of the secret weapons of great powers is their submarine fleet. Very little time is spent analyzing the power and strength of these underwater vessels, but conventional wisdom has it that the greater the submarines fleet the more powerful the navy. This explains why the actual size of almost every nation’s submarine fleets is a top secret, and the best analysts can do is speculate as to the numbers involved. An advanced sub fleet can and will be much more powerful than any aircraft carrier.
In other words—the greater the sub fleet, the more powerful the military. And if a set of subs can go undetected for weeks at a time, the weapon becomes enormously effective both as a defensive and offensive weapon.
This Russian sub can remain submerged for 45 days. Weighing in at 4,000 tons, it is very small and very fast and can cruise at an underwater speed of 20 knots. Because of its small size, it is able to get into shallow water. Because it is so quiet, it leaves no sound signature. It becomes invisible.
“Black Hole” is one of Russia’s secret weapons, and it is now taking up residence just off the coast of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel.
How many are there? Best intel guesses say that Russia has 20 “Black Holes.” There are probably six of seven of these subs now submerged in the Mediterranean Sea.
They are not alone. Other subs in the area are there courtesy of the United States, England, Germany and France. Israel has submarines in the Mediterranean too. The others come and go at will. But for Israel this area is home.
It is safe to assume that, because of the threats facing Israel from her many enemies, all of her subs are not onshore, but rather, they are moving in and around the waters of potential attackers. Given the new tensions in the region and the presence of Russian subs in the region, Israel has probably relocated several subs closer to home. The Israeli subs are likely tracking the Russian subs in a dangerous game of underwater cat and mouse.
With their submarine presence now powerfully established off the coast of Syria, Russia has created what has been termed an Arc of Steel. The arc goes from the Arctic Circle through the Baltic Sea to Crimea to the Mediterranean Sea. The game plan is to challenge and confront NATO and the West. In this game, the Middle East is just one connecting link in a chain of naval influence, power and intimidation.