Russian attack sub goes undetected in Gulf of Mexico for a month

Are U.S.-Russian relations harkening back to the Cold War era?

Armed Russian military units have reportedly spent the summer testing our homeland defenses — and found them wanting.

Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon reported last week that at the same time Russian strategic bombers invaded our restricted airspace near Alaska and California, a Russian nuclear Akula-class attack submarine patrolled undetected in U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Its presence wasn’t discovered until it was detected leaving American jurisdiction.

According to, the Akula-class submarine “is considered a quantum leap forward in Soviet submarine technology and remains the most capable Russian attack submarine until the newer Yasen class is commissioned.”

The Akula’s unique design allows it to launch cruise missiles with a range of over 1,800 miles directly from its torpedo tubes. If launched from the Gulf of Mexico, such a missile would be capable of reaching any city within the continental U.S. Clearly, the Akula was designed to destroy U.S. targets and take American lives.

Following the Free Beacon’s report, the Houston Chronicle contacted Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Fage, a Pentagon spokesman, who said, “We are aware of the reporting but we see nothing to indicate that it is true.”

Although the report was dismissed by the Pentagon, The New York Times reported three years ago, almost to the day, that a pair of Russian nuclear attack submarines had been patrolling off the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He found the report “especially troubling given the drastic defense cuts sought by President Obama, which include reductions in funding for antisubmarine defense systems.” Cornyn responded with the following letter to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert:

According to press reports, a Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine recently traveled undetected in the Gulf of Mexico on a month-long patrol. This submarine activity reportedly occurred in June and July, simultaneously with incursions by Russian strategic bombers into restricted U.S. airspace.

If these reports are accurate, the repercussions are serious. It is my understanding that an Akula-class submarine can be armed with an array of weapons, including torpedoes and long-range cruise missiles, capable of destroying both U.S. nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers.

The submarine patrol, taken together with the air incursions, seems to represent a more aggressive and destabilizing Russian military stance that could pose risks to our national security. This is especially troubling given the drastic defense cuts sought by President Obama, which include reductions in funding for antisubmarine defense systems.

In light of the gravity of this situation, I request a detailed explanation of the facts surrounding these reports. Thank you for your faithful service to our nation, your dedication to our Armed Forces, and your commitment to ensuring the welfare of our men and women in uniform and their families.

Whether the Free Beacon’s report is eventually confirmed or not, one thing is certain: Vladimir Putin appears hell-bent on taking Russia back to the “bad old days” of the Soviet Union. Relations between President Obama and him have been strained, and Russia’s U.N. ambassador says “nyet” to our requests with greater frequency.

The following is a video report of the Russian sub invasion from


On August 25, Melissa Gresham posted her blog on the incident. In it, she discusses which agencies, bureaus or departments would bear primary responsibility for protecting our shores in the event of attack.

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