Report: Russian Nuclear Missile Submarine Patrols Down

By | May 5, 2008 | Satellite News Feed

Russian Subs Now Carry About 20 Percent Of Russian Warheads, But New Gear Might Mean That Will Rise To 30 Percent Of Nukes

New Chinese Nuclear Submarine Photographed At Pier

Deterrence patrols by Russian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines declined to just three last year from five in 2006, according to experts.

That was the report of Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

This is of a piece with the general decline in Russian military operations since the end of the Cold War.

In contrast, the United States conducted 54 such submarine patrols.

Meanwhile, even as Russian sub patrols decline, however, Chinese military might is rising.

Separately, Kristensen reported the federation has a picture of a new Jin Class (Type 094) Chinese ballistic missile submarine at a new base near Yulin on Hainan Island. (Please see separate story in this issue.)

That island gained notoriety after a Chinese fighter plane in 2001 flew recklessly close to, and then smashed into, a U.S. Navy electronic surveillance plane peacefully flying in international airspace, and the crippled craft then managed to make an emergency landing at Hainan Island. There, Chinese troops stormed the plane and attempted to learn American intelligence secrets. They also took prisoner the two dozen U.S. Navy men and women in uniform and held them for 10 days until the United States apologized, "very sorry … very sorry" for the crew saving its own lives by landing on Hainan Island.

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