America has also jumped into the continuing tension between Britain and Russia in the Mediterranean Sea. The Russian military, which conducts missile maneuvers in the vicinity of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, was challenged by the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Alaska. Just days ago, Russia alleged that British and American fighter jets had flown over its warships. This American submarine visited a British Royal Navy base in the British Overseas Territory of the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in 21 years. The US Navy said in a statement that its Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Alaska made an extremely rare stopover at a British naval base in the Mediterranean Sea. This stop was taken for the logistics supply which was already scheduled. But, experts seek to connect it with Russia. A few days ago, Russia expelled the British Navy’s HMS Defender from the Black Sea.
US nuclear submarine reaches Gibraltar for first time in 21 years
The US Navy officially announced that the USS Alaska sailed yesterday to Gibraltar. This announcement regarding the visit of nuclear-powered submarines was considered unexpected. Before that, America never gives advance information about the activities of its nuclear submarines. US Naval Forces Europe-Africa / United States Sixth Fleet spokesperson and US Navy lieutenant commander Lenya Rotklein told The War Zone that this was the first time in 21 years that a Ohio-class SSBN has been calling at a Gibraltar naval base since 1999. America has 18 Ohio-class submarines. In such a situation, it is not clear how many of these 18 people have made it to Gibraltar to date. Lieutenant-Commander Rotklein said the USS Alaska (SSBN 732) made a previously scheduled brief stopover for logistics at the Port of Gibraltar on June 28, 2021. The submarine Alaska is part of the US Sixth Fleet Navy for operations in support of United States national security interests in Europe and Africa. This brief stopover strengthens cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom-Gibraltar.
This submarine can attack 280 targets simultaneously
The US Navy did not specify why the USS Alaska needed logistics, which required it to stop in Gibraltar. Before that, other types of American submarines made regular stops at this Royal Navy base. Arriving at port, the tugs intercepted the submarine and loaded most of it into it. Modern military submarines are most threatened when they come to the surface. From there, they cannot hide from the eyes of the enemy. This threat is doubled for the Alaska submarine, as it patrols with dozens of nuclear missiles always ready to fire. Each US Navy Ohio-class submarine carries 20 Trident D5 submarine launch ballistic missiles. Each Trident D5 missile can carry 14 independent nuclear warheads W76-1 or W88. Of these, a W76-1 nuclear warhead can produce around 100 kilotons, while a W88 nuclear warhead can produce 475 kilotons of energy. This means that 20 Trident D5 submarine ballistic launch missiles can perform nuclear strikes on 280 targets.
USS Alaska is armed with many dangerous weapons
Due to the many arms control agreements between the United States and Russia, only 5 or 6 of these missiles are still deployed. As of January 2020, the Trident D5 missiles deployed on some Ohio submarines have only been equipped with the low caliber W76-2 nuclear explosive. The Trident D5s missile is supposed to produce a nuclear explosion of just five kilotons. Many US defense experts criticize the government for it, while others see it as a necessary step to have nuclear talks with Russia. The arrival of the USS Alaska in Gibraltar is no mere coincidence. If America sends its nuclear submarine to a disputed area with so much publicity, it can mean a lot.
The USS Alaska can stay hidden in the sea for a long time
The USS Alaska could disappear underwater for several months if it did not receive food for the sailors aboard the submarine. It is equipped with its own oxygen generators, which generate oxygen for the Marines stationed on the submarine. Apart from that, due to the presence of nuclear reactors, they have a continuous energy reserve. While conventional submarines have a diesel-electric engine. They have to come to the surface again and again to get diesel for this and for the repair work. If a submarine is hidden underwater, it is very difficult to find it. But, if this submarine appears on the surface even once for a job, then it becomes easy for the enemy to detect and chase it away.
The USS Ohio also patrols with the 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. The large USS Ohio carries 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles. This capacity is double that of the missiles deployed in the American guided missile destroyer. Each Tomahawk missile is capable of carrying up to 1000 kg of highly explosive warheads. This missile, deployed in the US military since 1983, has shown its power in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.