International World Politics

Anti-Submarine Warfare and Superpower Strategic Stability by Donald C. Daniel

By Donald C. Daniel

The assumption that ballistic missile submarines or SSBs are hugely survivable is the first it's because they've got turn out to be considered as the final word guarantors of nuclear deterrence and for that reason, of strategic balance. however, because the first deployment of SSBNs greater than twenty years in the past, it's been the perform of many Western ( and most likely additionally Soviet) policy-makers and observers to be prudently skeptical in regards to the survivability of the submarines within the long-term. The expression of such perspectives used to be often associated with allusions to potential anti-submarine struggle (ASW) advancements, yet, other than most likely within the previous couple of years, such assertions had no major o lasting impact at the consensus that the submarines might most likely stay survivable.

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The result is a damping of capillary waves and the forming of slicks or areas of increased surface reflectivity or sun glitter. A second hypothesised mechanism is that internal waves cause surface stress which focuses capillary wave energy in convergence zones. The result is an enhancement of small-scale roughness and an associated decrease in capillary wave reflectivity. Some knowledgeable observers remain highly sceptical about the potential utility of internal wave phenomena for submarine detection.

These can arise from the upwelling of deeper cooler water pushed up to the surface by submarine hydrodynamic displacement effects. Such upwellings, however, would occur within the context of an even greater, and possibly opposing, thermal effect produced by great volumes of warm sea-water left in a nuclear submarine's wake. The effect arises because nuclear-powered submarines take in and then expel large quantities of sea-water used to cool the reactor spaces. Since the discharged water is warmer and consequently less dense than its surroundings, it rises and can potentially cause a thermal scar on the sea surface detectable with either infrared or passive microwave radiometers.

Testimony of Assistant Secretary of Defense G. P. Dineen, in 26 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Generic Considerations US Senate Armed Services Committee, Department of Defense Authorization for Appropriations FY 1980, 96th Congress, 2nd Session (1979) Pt 6, p. 3355. See, for example, R. L. ' International Security (Fall, 1983) p. 56; Assembly of the Western European Union, 'Anti-Submarine Warfare: Report Submitted on Behalf of the Committee on Defense Questions and Armaments by Mr Roper, Rapporteur', Document 725, (29 November 1976) pp.

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