May 17, 2022

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The US Navy’s most powerful submarine is rarely seen in the Pacific

Hong Kong (CNN) – The submarine USS Nevada, one of the most powerful weapons in the U.S. Navy’s arsenal, made a rare port call over the weekend in Guam, sending a message to allies and adversaries amid rising tensions in the Indo – Pacific region, analysts said.

The USS Nevada, an Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine carrying 20 Trident ballistic missiles and dozens of nuclear weapons, arrived at a naval base in the US Pacific on Saturday. This is the first arrival of a ballistic missile submarine, sometimes called a “boomer” to Guam, and the second to be announced since the 1980s.

The US Navy’s ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada arrived at the Guam naval base on Saturday.

“The port visit strengthens cooperation between the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region, demonstrating the United States’ capability, flexibility, preparedness and continued commitment to regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the Navy statement said.

The movements of the 14 Boomers in the U.S. Navy are largely secretive. The use of nuclear power means that ships can be submerged for several months at a time, and their endurance is limited only by the supplies their crew of more than 150 sailors needs.

The Navy says Ohio-class submarines spend an average of 77 days at sea.

Well-protected secret

It is rare for someone to be photographed outside the ports of Bangor, Washington and Kings Bay, Georgia. The secrecy surrounding the ballistic missile submarines makes it the “most important remaining leg of the nuclear triangle”, including the Shiloh-based ballistic missiles on the American continent and nuclear-capable bombs such as the B-2 and B-52.

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But tensions between the United States and China over the status of Taiwan’s sovereign island have led to North Korea stepping up its missile tests, and Washington could issue a report with its ballistic missile submarines, which neither Beijing nor Pyongyang can do, analysts say. .

“It sends a message, purpose or not: we can park more than 100 nuclear weapons on your doorstep, you will not know about it or do much about it. The opposite is not true, it will not be. For a long time.” That will be short-lived, “said Thomas Schuckert, a former U.S. Navy submarine captain and now a researcher at the New U.S. Defense Center.

North Korea’s ballistic submarine program is in its infancy, and China’s estimated six ballistic missile submarines have been dwarfed by the U.S. Navy.

China’s ballistic missile submarines do not have the capabilities of US boomers, according to a 2021 analysis by experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

A submarine, a signal

China’s Type 094 ballistic missile submarines are twice as noisy as US submarines, making it much easier to detect and carry fewer missiles and warships, CSIS researchers wrote in August.

In addition to the political signal, the USS presence in the Nevada region offers another opportunity, said Alessio Badlano, a professor of war and strategy at King’s College London.

“The presence of this type of ship, especially in training and training, adds an important opportunity to learn to hunt down other actors in the area,” Badlano said.

“DPRK (North Korea) is trying to build such a base, and China is already using it. Improving its surveillance capabilities is as important as using it as a strategic barrier,” he said.

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When the USS Pennsylvania last stopped there in 2016, the US Navy Boomer went to Guam.

Analysts say tensions in the Indo-Pacific region have risen significantly since then, and that in the current context, Washington is likely to host several similar military demonstrations.

“This deployment reminds us of the importance of nuclear order in the (Indo-Pacific) Sea, and when it is out of broad public discourse, we can see it more in the development of regional strategic balance,” he said. படலனோ.