America has also jumped into the ongoing tension between Britain and Russia in the Mediterranean Sea. The Russian Army, which is conducting missile maneuvers close to the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been challenged by the Ohio-class USS Alaska ballistic missile submarine.
American nuclear submarine reached Gibraltar for the first time in 21 years
The US Navy officially announced that the USS Alaska had sailed yesterday at Gibraltar. This announcement regarding the visit of nuclear-powered submarines was seen as an unexpected one. Before this, America never gives advance information about the activities of its nuclear submarines. US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet spokesman and US Navy lieutenant commander Lenya Rotklein told The War Zone that it was the first time in 21 years that an Ohio-class SSBN had made a stop at a Gibraltar naval base since 1999. America has 18 submarines of the Ohio class. In such a situation it is not clear how many of these 18 have traveled to Gibraltar till date. Lieutenant Commander Rotklein stated that the USS Alaska (SSBN 732) conducted a previously scheduled brief stop for logistics at the Port of Gibraltar on June 28, 2021. The Alaska submarine is part of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet for operations in support of US national security interests in Europe and Africa. This brief stop strengthens cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom-Gibraltar.
This submarine can attack 280 targets simultaneously
The US Navy did not specify how the USS Alaska needed logistics, which required it to stop at Gibraltar. Prior to this, other types of American submarines have regularly stopped at this Royal Navy base. Upon reaching the port, the tugboats intercepted the submarine and loaded the essentials into them. Modern military submarines are at greatest risk when they come to the surface. From here they cannot hide from the eyes of the enemy. This threat doubles for the Alaska submarine, as it patrols with dozens of nuclear missiles always ready to fire. Each Ohio class submarine of the US Navy carries 20 Trident D5 Submarine Launch Ballistic Missiles. Each Trident D5 missile can carry 14 independent W76-1 or W88 nuclear warheads. One of these, the W76-1 nuclear warhead, can produce approximately 100 kilotons, while the W88 nuclear warhead can produce 475 kilotons of energy. This means that 20 Trident D5 Submarine Launch Ballistic Missiles can carry out nuclear strikes on 280 targets.
USS Alaska is armed with many dangerous weapons
Because of the many arms control agreements between the US and Russia, only 5 or 6 of these missiles are always deployed. Since January 2020, Trident D5s missiles deployed on some Ohio submarines have only been fitted with the low-capacity W76-2 nuclear explosive. The Trident D5s missile is believed to deliver a nuclear explosion of only five kilotons. Many US defense experts criticize the government for this, while there are others who call it a necessary step to have nuclear talks with Russia. The arrival of the USS Alaska in Gibraltar is not a mere coincidence. If America is sending its nuclear submarine to a disputed area with so much publicity that it can mean many things.
USS Alaska can remain hidden in the sea for a long time
The USS Alaska could disappear under water for several months if it did not receive food for the sailors on board the submarine. It is fitted with its own oxygen generators, which generate oxygen for the marines stationed on the submarine. Apart from this, due to the presence of nuclear reactors, they have a continuous store of energy. Whereas conventional submarines have a diesel electric engine. They have to come to the surface again and again to get diesel for this and for repair work. If a submarine is hidden under water, it is a very difficult task to find it. But, if that submarine appears on the surface even once for some work, then it becomes easy for the enemy to detect and chase it.
USS Ohio also patrolling with 154 Tomahawk
America has deployed its largest nuclear submarine USS Ohio near China. Long range missiles are deployed on this submarine, which can attack in any corner of the world. Being large in size, the USS Ohio carries 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles. This capability is twice that of the missiles deployed in the US Guided Missile Destroyer. Each Tomahawk missile is capable of carrying up to 1000 kg of highly explosive warheads. This missile, deployed in the US Army since 1983, has shown its strength in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
[Attribution to NBT]