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Iran Press TV

US sensors detect Russian submarines near communications cables

Iran Press TV

Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:53AM

US intelligence officials warn that Russian submarines, with a significant and unsettling capability, could cut critical undersea communications cables between the US and Europe, in the event of a conflict.

US spy satellites, aircraft and submarines tracked a Russian military ship called the Yantar in the Atlantic last month, CNN reported Thursday, citing officials.

Officials claim that the underwater vehicle crossed the Atlantic and started moving down the East Coast of the United States. US navy said it tracked the ship all the way down the coast to Cuba.

According to the officials, the Yantar is capable of cutting vital undersea cables that are carrying vast amounts of commercial and military data, voice communications and Internet service between the US and Europe. Russia, however, has insisted that the Yantar is not a spy ship.

CNN quoted US officials as saying that there was no indication that the Russians have any intention of cutting the cables. They said Russia is showing off its naval capability to US naval intelligence.

The officials said Russia has increased its naval operations to a level not seen in over a decade. US intelligence agencies said they have observed increased activity by the Russian fleet along cable routes, even close to the United States.

A Navy official told CNN that 'Russian submarine deployments are through the roof.'

The US navy said it has been watching for the last several months the activities of Russian submarines in deep water. According to the officials, a classified network of Navy undersea sensors has set off alarms several times as Russian submarines approached the cables.

The US military is heavily dependent on undersea cables for much of its communications.

"Russians would be aware in broad terms that their actions would cause the network to detect them," CNN quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Earlier this month, top US Navy commander Mark Ferguson publicly addressed the rise in Russian submarine operations.

'According to Russian Navy Chief Adm. Chirkov, the 'intensity' of Russian submarine patrols has risen by almost 50 percent over the last year," Ferguson said. "Russia has introduced new capabilities such as newer and more stealthy nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile defense submarines.'

"They are also expanding the reach of their conventional submarines with advanced cruise missiles,' Ferguson noted.

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