UK fears Russian ‘silent subs’ operating in its waters

New Russian submarines Varshavyanka or Project 636.3, known as improved Kilo-Class submarines, are feared to be operating in the British territorial waters unseen and unheard by the Royal Navy, The Telegraph said earlier this month, citing senior military sources.

According to the daily, new Russian submarines equipped with low-noise diesel engines allegedly pose a threat to British security by tracking Britain’s fleet, tapping undersea cables and eavesdropping on telecommunication systems.

“The new First Sea Lord needs to deliver the underwater battle,” the source told The Telegraph. “We must be better at what we do.”

“The Russians are benefiting from a huge increase in research and development spending 15 to 20 years ago which is now producing this new class of super-quiet Kilo Submarines,” he added.

The Telegraph cites Admiral Tony Radakin, the new head of the Royal Navy, who said in his first public statement as head of the navy about a greater risk of state-on-state conflicts in the world and pledged to invest more in the North Atlantic “to maintain the freedom of maneuver of the nuclear deterrent.”

What the British fear is that the subs operating near UK waters are those known as Project 636.3 or Varshavyanka-class in Russia. Six of the advanced submarines have already been launched with the first of the second batch of six due to be operational in the Russian Navy by the end of the year.

Russia’s embassy in London has reiterated that British politicians and military figures were frightening the British people with an alleged Russian threat seeking a boost in defense funding.

The 363.3 class subs are armed with 18 torpedoes, sea mines and cruise missiles designated SS-N-27 Sizzler by Nato, the Varshavyanka-class submarines are thought to be able to work in concert with Russian deep-water survey ships to tap undersea cables and eavesdrop on telecommunication systems.