2009/09/14

Questionable German submarine exports

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Germany has - as Sweden, for example - a rather restrictive law on arms exports. We don't export into crisis regions.

OK, that's the theory.
In practice, there's the possibility of exceptions. A cabinet-level committee can allow arms exports into states in crisis regions, such as Israel, Turkey or even Pakistan.

The basic idea of the restrictive law was that we don't want to fuel the fires of foreign conflicts, but still have some arms exports in order to sustain an industrial base for our own forces.

German arms showing up in foreign conflicts are always fodder for journalists who usually choose to critique the government over it.

Two such arms exports worry me a lot; submarine sales to both Israel and Pakistan.

A G3 rifle or Leopard tank used for no good in a distant civil war is a displeasure, but German-made submarines in use in foreign and non-allied nuclear arsenals create a seriously aching feeling in the stomach.

The Israeli submarines of the Dolphin class (3+2) are widely considered to serve as an equivalent of nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in the Israeli navy. They're very difficult to detect and track and therefore almost unassailable second strike platforms for a nuclear revenge.
Their range (especially if supported by a logistics ship) also increases the reach of the IDF (almost global with some improvisation).


The same will probably be true for the Pakistani submarines, which will apparently be three Typ 214 models with air-independent propulsion (AIP) and even greater stealth (much-reduced need for snorkeling). Those submarines will supposedly be made mostly in Pakistan ("95%" - maybe assembly and weight-wise only), but the design is German and it's obvious that the project in this form would be impossible without German cooperation.


Both powers would be able to maintain nuclear deterrence without those subs, both are without doubt involved in a crisis and in both cases I would prefer not to see German submarine types in their inventories.

I've got to admit that this is really just a feeling, a political opinion. It's not based on a advantage-disadvantage analysis. These arms exports just don't feel right to me.
My guess is that if someone polled all German voters about whether we should help Israel and Pakistan to get submarines for their nuclear deterrence, the vast majority would decline.

Sven Ortmann
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29 comments:

  1. Sorry, I don't get it - do you seriously compare arms exports to Israel with those to Pakistan? Have you ever, like, compared the situation of these two countries or their historical ties to Germany?

    While it is indeed a shame Germany sends anything else than bomb carpets to Pakistan, it is even more a shame it tries to get away with exporting some f*cking submarines to Israel (ok ok, I know these are fine subs). But actually it should be Germany's holiest duty to send their best men to fight and die for Israel's interests, now and forever.

    Given the aftertaste of your post I'm surprised you didn't conclude with "More arms to poor, suffering Pakistan, but stop arming the Zionist oppressors of the Palestine people" or some similar shit.

    You know, I really enjoy reading your stuff, you seem to have some good insights to technological issues - but whenever it comes to politics you sound like someone who refused military service "on moral grounds" - you know the kind.

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  2. "Sorry, I don't get it - do you seriously compare arms exports to Israel with those to Pakistan?"

    No, no comparison. They're quite the same in relevant variables in this case.
    1) nuclear power
    2) involved in at times violent crisis
    3) not allied
    4) probably using SSKs as nuclear second strike platforms or near-global nuclear strike platforms

    Israel would have looked much worse (more threatening) for its defiance of U.N. resolution, invasions and proximity to us if I had compared them. Religious extremists are in both countries - and in my opinion equally nuts.

    "Have you ever, like, compared the situation of these two countries or their historical ties to Germany?"

    I see no historical ties of relevance for an arms export decision. There's no non-aggression treaty, no alliance, no guarantee of sovereignty or similar.

    "While it is indeed a shame Germany sends anything else than bomb carpets to Pakistan..."

    Illegal, illegitimate, unprovoked - I wonder how someone could even get such an idea.
    Besides, we're also out of the bomb carpets business anyway.

    "..., it is even more a shame it tries to get away with exporting some f*cking submarines to Israel (ok ok, I know these are fine subs). But actually it should be Germany's holiest duty to send their best men to fight and die for Israel's interests, now and forever."

    There are many people who equate today's Israelis with the European Jewish people of 1933-1945 and the Germans of 1933-1945 with today's (or even future) Germans, but I don't.
    A 18 y.o. KZ guard of 1945 would today be 81 y.o.. Others with more responsibility are even older or long since dead.

    There's no rational reason to believe that today's working and fighting-capable Germans have obligations to Israel - unless you look only at states (not humans) and equate the Jewish people of 33-45 with today's state of Israel (which is quite off if you look at the demographics).
    See also here: http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2009/05/foreign-comments-on-german-attitude.html

    "Given the aftertaste of your post I'm surprised you didn't conclude with "More arms to poor, suffering Pakistan, but stop arming the Zionist oppressors of the Palestine people" or some similar shit."

    Didn't come to my mind, but to yours. I wonder what that means. Maybe that you've got a completely wrong picture of mine?

    "...you sound like someone who refused military service "on moral grounds" - you know the kind."

    I was in the Luftwaffe, and mentioned my military service recently in a blog post, too.

    Again; you seem to project a stereotype on me that doesn't fit at all.

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  3. Never mind him, Sven. If you say "Israel" on the Internet you get pounced on.

    I think a strong case can be made that nations should not export any potential delivery system to a nuclear-armed state. It makes the exporting nation an accessory before the fact if the nukes are ever used. Recently the US accused Pakistan of modifying its Harpoon missiles for land attack. It is rumored that Israel has modified its Harpoons to carry nuclear weapons and, of course, both nations received 1960's US fighter aircraft with their "toss-bombing" computers still functional.

    Since potential delivery systems include aircraft, missiles, unguided rockets, submarines, and even large surface-to-air missiles, the effect would be to deny any proliferator access to the global market in advanced weapons, greatly hampering his ability to defend himself. Thus, nuclear weapons would be clearly seen as undermining a nation's national security instead of enhancing it.

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  4. Well, Germany and Israel have been cooperating on defence technologies for decades. By the way, the German Army will introduce the Israeli Spike Missile and the Luftwaffe considered to procure Heron UAVs. I would consider them (the Isrealis) a sort of major non-NATO ally of Germany.
    However, Pakistan is a whole other issue. There's nothing to gain from selling them state-of-the-art submarines.

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  5. I see a very stark contrast between "friendly nation" and "ally".

    The reason is simple; there are two words to describe "ally" in German.
    "Verbündeter" for formal ally and "Waffenbruder" (brother in arms) for those who merely fight together against a common foe.
    A common correct translation for "ally" are also "Partner" and even "Helfer" (helper).

    I consider the rather loose usage of "ally" in English as inaccurate and problematic. There's really a significant difference between cooperation (possible also with otherwise neutral countries) and a formal alliance (as between NATO members). There are minimal or no obligations in one case and serious obligations in the other.

    Israel is not formally allied with Germany and I don't even remember a bilateral non-aggression treaty (though the U.N. charter is a multilateral one).
    The same applies to Pakistan.

    Btw; look at the Pakistani Army small arms equipment; G3 and MG3.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_Army#Small_Arms
    The arms cooperation Germany-Pakistan is probably older and more significant than with Israel.

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  6. There's really a significant difference between cooperation (possible also with otherwise neutral countries) and a formal alliance (as between NATO members). There are minimal or no obligations in one case and serious obligations in the other.

    So do you think Germany is meeting "minimal obligations" or "serious obligations" currently in Afghanistan?

    Looks pretty minimal to most people, so when is Germany going to withdraw from NATO? What they are doing now isn't even close to meeting "serious obligations".

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  7. That's badly off-topic, but:

    1)
    A greater (or any) participation in the stupidities in Afghanistan is not an obligation by the North Atlantic treaty.
    Read the treaty; "...such action as it deems necessary...".
    http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/treaty.htm

    2)
    Article 5 was at most relevant till the Taliban were chased from power in 2002. There was never an alliance that required to kill or imprison an enemy to the last man and there is still no such alliance.
    The enemy was beaten by 2002 in an almost unilateral action of the U.S. - the U.S. made it quite clear that it had not the intent to do this in a NATO operation.

    3)
    The USA, the UK and Poland violated Article 1 of the North Atlantic Treaty in 2003 with their invasion of Iraq, thereby nullifying the residual U.S. moral entitlement to solidarity.


    There's a difference between facts and feelings.

    Fact is that the U.S. is a very poor ally, much worse than Germany which violated Article 1 of the NATO treaty only once; during the Kosovo Air War 1999.
    The U.S. violated it more than a dozen times, including once after 9/11/01.

    A feeling of many people is that Germany is a poor ally. That's the result of media and establishment bias created by (chicken)hawks.


    It's not a very original move to question whether others should leave a club. I saw this rhetoric trick many times.

    Reality rather suggests to ask why the U.S. doesn't leave the NATO or the U.N. since it demonstrates again and again that it doesn't want to meet the obligations as defined in their respective treaties.

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  8. That's why I wrote "a sort of (...) ally". We are closely cooperating on many very important issues, and that above the usual level. I would rank Israel on the same level as Sweden.
    You know that half the world is license producing G3s and other German weapons.
    If I remember correctly, I once saw documentary on N24 about German defence engineers studying Soviet produced tanks, that were captured by Israel in the 1960s. And as far as I know weapon sales have been taking place since the 1950s.

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  9. I don't want to feed the troll, but concerning Astan just some points:
    - Germany is not at war
    - The United States is not at war
    - The German Military is totalling 220.000 professional soldiers and 30.000 conscripts, 7.500 deployed, up to 4.500 in Afghanistan alone
    - The German Military is ill-prepared for counterinsurgency operations in remote, dry and high locations like Afghanistan
    - Afghanistan is not Germany's most important security issue
    (By the way, I'm in favor of the Afghanistan mission.)

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  10. I find the number of people who have completely uncritical support for Israel truly frightening.

    And I for one would support the cessation of military aid to both countries on the part of the West(the US in particular). Both have poor track records when it comes to human rights, and Israel in particular has stood in defiance of the International Community in many cases(I'm not to familiar with Pakistan's track record in this regard). The West has proven it can effectively pressure rougue states into internal reform(or external in the case of Israel's occupation and blockade of Palestine), South Africa being a prominent example. Maybe unconditionally showering these states with military aid isn't an effective strategy to encourage them to solve these problems. In the case of Israel it only encourages and empowers them, and in the case of Pakistan, there is an understanding that the aid will only continue to flow in such tremendous ammounts as long as their internal problems along the Afghan border remain an issue.

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  11. OK, for the troll who didn't get his diatribe through the filter:

    Forget about posting like this:
    1x lack of logical connection between argument and supposed subject
    1x assertion of knowledge you cannot have
    2x lie about what I did or didn't
    ...in just one attempt to comment.

    The disagreement is not what keeps your posts from passing the test; it's the 90% nonsense and impertinent assertions (a.k.a. "lies").

    Oh, and it didn't help that you stubbornly ignored arguments in favour of spilling out irrelevant stuff.

    See, this is similar to a newspaper's "letters to the editor": It's the editor's choice which ones will be published. I defined and published minimum requirements for comments and you failed to meet even those low requirements. That's not intellectually impressive.

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  12. Completely off topic:"The German Military is totaling 220.000 professional soldiers and 30.000 conscripts."Why the German army still have conscripts(based in the idea that a drafted is inferior that a professional soldier).

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  13. Conscripts have their advantages as well, but a full discussion of the conscription in Germany shouldn't be done in comments.

    I wrote a bit about our conscription a few weeks ago:
    http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2009/07/conscription-in-germany-politics.html

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  14. "7.500 deployed, up to 4.500 in Afghanistan alone"

    The usual response. I don't care how many troops you have deployed anywhere, I care a lot more about what they do.
    And what German troops in Afghanistan are doing now is hiding in their kasernes hoping not to take any casualties, or get caught in any engagement with the enemy where they might have to call in another preemptive air strike and make the headlines, so as not to upset the balance of power in German politics or influence the upcoming elections.

    And the Afghan people? They're secondary, of course.

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  15. Lack of knowlegde with many of the commentors (including the author?) round here. Anybody who's into the international intelligence theatre knows there are no such two allies like Israel and Germany. This cooperation even exceeds the one between the US and Britain. Israeli services will pass any intel to German services before passing them to the CIA and vice versa. Known fact, read about it.

    There are two reasons for this: first there are the above mentioned historical ties between Israel and Germany. Second - out of the very same reasons, ironically - there are strong ties of German intelligence (and commerce) to Arab/Muslim nations. Germany may not be a true operational force, but they do provide vital intel on Arab nations like noone else does ("Shock and Awe" preparations in Baghdad are a good example for this).

    I don't see any of these ties regarding Pakistan. The opposite is the case - Pakistan is an enemy of Israel, so Germany's position should be clear. Even if Sven Ortmann doesn't think of Israel as an "ally" - in fact it is the closest ally one can get (Franks had it right on this one).

    And the exports? Oh, so you think Germany should stop exporting the very goods which made it rich just because you think so? No way. Germany won't stop exporting arms, cars or machines - screw you and your tree-hugging friends. Or as one commentator put it: "There are over 350 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is, how do we arm the other eleven?" ;)

    It was interesting to watch S.O. argueing with German "guilt" which would be necessary to support Israel. He got it all wrong: Germany won't support Israel out of guilt (although it remains a factor), it supports Israel because it is the only civilized nation in the Middle East. The last stronghold of democracy and equal rights - this is something WORTH fighting for. Not only with submarines, but with main battle tanks, missiles and dedicated men.

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  16. German-Israeli intelligence cooperation is well known (at the latest since the early 90's scandal about NVA tank exports).
    We seem to differ in our appreciation of intelligence cooperation, though. I don't consider it to be anything near a formal alliance or anything that creates obligations in general.

    You place the espionage in Baghdad during OIF in a wrong context, for that were two sloppy agents and not an existing intelligence network in action.

    "Pakistan is an enemy of Israel, so Germany's position should be clear."

    Sorry, I have yet to see a German politician or official who calls Pakistan an enemy of Israel. We tend to be much more relaxed and less hyperbolic.
    These states were never at war, don#t threaten each other and are quite a bit apart.

    "Even if Sven Ortmann doesn't think of Israel as an "ally" - in fact it is the closest ally one can get..."

    That's factually impossible due to the North Atlantic treaty.
    It's also grossly wrong because Germany's closest ally is France. The connection with France is stronger than that to Israel by orders of magnitude.

    "And the exports? Oh, so you think Germany should stop exporting the very goods which made it rich just because you think so?"

    My position was that we should stick to our law and make no exceptions. Furthermore, industrial goods exports don't make a country rich - their production does that. Export without equal import is more like a drain. We have a trade balance surplus, and that's not unequivocally advantageous.

    "It was interesting to watch S.O. argueing with German "guilt" which would be necessary to support Israel."

    That was actually a response to someone who was obviously using that theory.

    "He got it all wrong: Germany won't support Israel out of guilt (although it remains a factor), it supports Israel because it is the only civilized nation in the Middle East. The last stronghold of democracy and equal rights - this is something WORTH fighting for. Not only with submarines, but with main battle tanks, missiles and dedicated men."

    I disagree. We are not obliged nor motivated to defend all democracies and wannabe democracies world-wide.
    There's no such democracy crusader gene in German society.
    Israel's behaviour furthermore violates many well-established standards of Western civilization and democracy. "equal rights" is more a joke than a proper description of the situation in Israel (or even all territories under its control).

    So excuse me if I'm not enthusiastic about using German wealth and life to fight for Israel without actual advantage for Germany. The idea to do so is actually quite a fringe idea in Germany in general.
    As I already wrote - no crusader genes here.

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  17. imho a ssk isnt a "unassailable near-global nuclear second strike platform".

    can a ssk used as a platform for a nuclear cruise missile? yes! is it a ssbn? no.

    a ssk is not unassailable. if it is on aip it is very hard to find for sure but with aip it's very slow and the aip fuel ( hydrogen etc.) is limited. that means if you want to patrol on aip you have to go "conventional" for the transit, so you have to snorkel every day.

    if we assume that the nuclear carrier is a cruise missile you need to travel towards your enemy because the missile range is limited (from lets say 100nm up to 1300 nm for tomahawk). if you want to hit targets inland you need to go into littorals.

    if you are in the patroling area you have to stay quite and submerged. the current aip's can do this for around 4 weeks but without using the aip outside the patroling area. for a "second-strike" you need at least one sub in the patroling area every single day.

    your global transit with a logistic support ship becomes useless because the whole transit is slow and not invisible. the easiest way here is to store some cruise missiles in some shipping containers and ship them around. it's a lot cheaper but with a similar result. (or use small sized nukes and carry them around in cars or store them somewhere)

    so the conclusion is:
    a ssk with cruise missiles
    - does not have the global range
    - does not have the endurance
    - does not have the right weapon to hit a target anywhere at anytime
    etc.

    so at the end if israel or pakistan got ssk's from germany doesn't make a big difference at all. the problem is not the ssk or the cruise missile, the problems are the nukes. if a country is able to build a nuke by it's own, nobody can stop this country to get it's nukes towards the enemy. a ssk is one way but there are a lot of different ways (all with pro's and con's) and at the end a ssk is no ssbn.


    and a small (non political) comment on the difference between delivering a ssk to israel and to pakistan. it's an operational issue. take a short look on a map to see how difficult it is for israel to get a sub within the missile range of the iran and compare this to pakistan/india. even if they start at eilat everybody can track if the sub goes back through the suez or down the red sea.

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  18. Your method of quoting doesn't impress me.

    Did you leave the "almost" before your first quote quote deliberately away?

    "can a ssk used as a platform for a nuclear cruise missile? yes! is it a ssbn? no."
    That's called a strawman argument, for nobody claimed that SSK=SSBN.

    Global range is given with some minimal support from another ship (you can improvise a lot). Even commercial freighters could transfer fuel, food and water to a sub with a bit of improvisation. The freighter's vulnerability isn't much of interest if only one of dozens world-wide needs to survive.

    "...for a "second-strike" you need at least one sub in the patroling area every single day."

    That's incorrect.
    You only need one platform to survive and be responsive to orders. There's no necessity for being on station.
    Enemy countries don't go away while a platform closes in, so there's no problematic time constraint or presence requirement at all.

    I mentioned the possibility of using auxiliary arsenal ships based on container ships myself some time ago.
    http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2009/04/influence-squadrons.html
    Nevertheless, I don't consider it as reliable enough for a nuclear second strike role. It's more an alternative to CMs on expensive warships or even in SSGNs.

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  19. "Did you leave the "almost" before your first quote quote deliberately away?"

    it isn't a quote but a conclusion based on your text.
    it is based on these three quotes:
    "They [the dolphins] 're very difficult to detect and track and therefore almost unassailable second strike platforms for a nuclear revenge."

    "Their range (especially if supported by a logistics ship) also increases the reach of the IDF (almost global with some improvisation)."

    "The same will probably be true for the Pakistani submarines, which will apparently be three Typ 214 models with air-independent propulsion (AIP) and even greater stealth (much-reduced need for snorkeling)."

    so for me an ssk + aip + some improvisation sounds like a "unassailable near-global nuclear second strike platform". maybe i missed the point?

    "That's called a strawman argument, for nobody claimed that SSK=SSBN."
    you can call it whatever you want but from my point of view it isn't a argument and i didn't say that you claimed it but what you sayed is:
    "The Israeli submarines of the Dolphin class (3+2) are widely considered to serve as an equivalent of nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in the Israeli navy."
    so i simply pointed out that a ssk isn't a ssbn.

    "Global range is given with some minimal support from another ship (you can improvise a lot). Even commercial freighters could transfer fuel, food and water to a sub with a bit of improvisation. The freighter's vulnerability isn't much of interest if only one of dozens world-wide needs to survive."

    ever thought about transit speed of a ssk? and as i sayed a ssk on transit isn't that stealth if they need to snorkel from time to time.
    maybe you can prepare 10 or 20 freigthers with the equipment to support a ssk but i'm not interessted in the freighter which is thousands of miles away from my country (maybe at the other side of the world) but i will take care about the freighter which is between my country and the last known position of your ssk and i will observe this freighter (or i will sink it). your enemy can collect a lot of information before he launchs a first strike, so he knows how many ssk's are at sea, maybe he know the position or at least a heading or something else. he knows about the range of your ssk and about your transit speed. so he can start hunting. a ssk is a very nice defensive weapon system but if you have to travel thousands of miles with it, it can be hunted down.

    "You only need one platform to survive and be responsive to orders. There's no necessity for being on station.
    Enemy countries don't go away while a platform closes in, so there's no problematic time constraint or presence requirement at all."

    maybe thats your opinion but from my point of view every hour, every day between the first strike and the arrival of your sub in the launch area increases the chance that you will loose your sub before it can launch it's cm and so you will loose your second strike. in fact the enemy can risk a first strike and hope to get your ssk's on the transit especially in a scenario like israel/iran. imho a second strike as nuclear deterrence can only be guaranteed if it can be started within minutes.

    "Nevertheless, I don't consider it as reliable enough for a nuclear second strike role. It's more an alternative to CMs on expensive warships or even in SSGNs"
    this is complete different scenario. you want to use freighters as cheap warships in a warzone (which imho will not work but that's another topic). a freighter as a nuclear weapon carrier will work as long as nobody knows about the nukes and the cm. one or two shipping containers with a small security team and crew, thats it. but for sure there is a risk that the nukes are dicovered and than it will not work.
    but as i sayed there is no big difference to your commercial freighter refueling the sub, because if this freighter is discovered your sub will end without fuel and food. the result is quite the same.

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  20. A sub's vulnerability depends on the circumstances. It's neither unassailable (even SSBN's aren't) nor is it easily killed just because it needs to snorkel from time to time.

    Both the Israeli and Pakistani SSKs can be effective nuclear deterrence (second strike) platforms because their normal patrol would be in range of normal threats while unlikely threats are highly unlikely to project an effective ASW force for interception.
    Pakistan cannot really seal off the Gibraltar strait and Pakistan's SSKs could easily slip into the vast Indian Ocean before they would cruise to distant enemies.

    And your conclusion was wrong. I mean it when I write "almost unassailable".
    I've never before seen someone constructing a case against a direct quote by patching together three quotes.

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  21. so if you accept that a ssk isn't unassailable, you should also accept that there is a big difference between a ssk on aip-patrol speed and a sub on transit speed snorkeling a hour once or twice per day.
    and as long as neither israel nor pakistan has a cm with a range similar to tomahawk (and a nuke which is small enough to fit to it without loosing range) they can not attack the enemy from a "safe" patroling area. india for example has a very big ssk fleet so the safe patroling area for pakistan should be far away from india. iran on the other hand doesn't have so much ssk's and i would assume teir status as not well trained and maintained but on the other hand israel has a problem to leave the mediteran sea.

    you are confusing me with pakistan and "seal off the Gibraltar strait". in which scenario? pakistan vs israel?
    but keep in mind that the trip around africa is 12.000 sm or so.

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    Replies
    1. The submarine that is snorkeling has a large internal volume without water because it is close to the surface. This volume is filled with air (that can to some degree be pressurized with valves retaining the water in order to not upset buyoancy) and outside the pressure hull where the crew is (no Caisson-illness). It's not the same as going AIP because AIP is an energy store independent of the buyoancy for variable depth. It can snorkel and pump air into these balance tanks, thus reducing the time her snorkel is surfaced. This allows for no to low speed while snorkeling (reduced wave signature).

      Australia is a good example for blue water SSK and they claim that it's extreme chance if their submarine snorkel gets detected at all. These capabilities have been demonstrated in joint exercises with the US Navy (usual story of SSK entering a carrier group).
      A similar problem for nuclear submarines is to look out via periscope or electro-optical mast.

      Delete
    2. The Australian SSKs are drydock queen crap and no good example for anything but incompetent shipyards and crappy military procurement bureaucracies.

      Delete
  22. Just a couple of things to add to this discussion.

    In the case of Pakistan, whether it has a global reach or not is rather insignificant, because Pakistan's main nuclear threat is right accross the border in India.

    Also, the idea of using unescorted freighters for any wartime role is a poor one, as they will make easy targets for the enemy's navy, which will likely be tracking enemy shipping prior to the conflict anyway.

    Which brings up another question, have you written anything about shipping in the event of a global naval conflict? The US Navy dominates the world's oceans, but they won't catch every enemy submarine and clear every mine, and today's Panamax freighters are fewer, bigger, and more expensive targets than we saw in the last global naval conflict.

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  23. OK, just to clarify:
    A submarine is not easily found just because it needs to snorkel sometimes. There re simply not enough maritime surveillance assets available to anyone.

    Nearby enemies could be hit quickly and without passing difficult straits, while most far away enemies of both states wouldn't have the capability to interdict those subs.

    A submarine has thousands of nautical miles range. A trip around Africa would only require one refuelling, for example. That kind of resupply can easily be improvised by an intelligence service operation even if all national freighters and surface navy ships were lost(and no Dr. Luny, I don't think that Iran's navy could track and kill all Israeli-operated freighters).

    Finally, the only two targets of interest for Pakistan's nukes are indeed India and Israel. Both are easily in range of Typ 214 subs.

    The only targets of interest for Israel are Arab countries, Iran, Pakistan and possibly EU states.
    These are easily in range of Dolphin subs. Both Iran and Pakistan would be unable to intercept a transiting Israeli sub.

    So what's the problem here about technicalities? These SSKs can serve both countries as SSBN-like second nuclear strike platforms.

    That's what made these sales especially disturbing: The possible involvement in later nuclear annihilation of cities.

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  24. the problem for example is that your type 214 which starts it's second strike transit from pakistan into the mediteran sea should stay undeteced durring the complete transit because if it is detected by another navy there is the risk that israel for example will get this information. if the us-navy detect the type 214 maybe they will sink it to prevent a nuclear strike on israel but this depends on the scenario. but the conclusion is simple: your second strike is only guaranteed to work if your ssk is undetected until it launches it's missiles. snorting some hours every day isn't the right way here. same for underway refueling. if somebody spots your surfaced sub and your freigther you risk that your enemy will get this information and knows about your plans/transit route.

    and i think you underestimate the indian navy. if india starts a first strike (and that's the scenario discussed here) it is able to postion it's huge sub and surface fleet early so it's hard for a pakistani sub to get into launch position.

    btw what is the range of an israel or pakistani sub launched cm?

    the 3+2 dolphins from israel are not so impressive but if they know that an enemy sub is on transit why not going on patrol at the strait of gibraltar? imho a ssk is the best defensive asw weapon system.

    btw there is another good reason that a second strike should start within minutes or hours: political implications. for example if country A starts a first strike on military bases from B and B starts it's ssk second strike transit to A which takes 60 days, maybe C, D or E or all of them can try to force B to abort it's nuclear strike (by political influence or by preparing an attack on B or whatever)

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  25. A Pakistani Sub would not need to move into the Med to hit Israel. The Red Sea is close enough.

    The typical rumoured missiles are modified Sub Harpoons, while the Israelis are also rumoured to have a SLCM with about 1,500 km range.

    In fact, I don't care about small tactical problems in regard to nuclear second strike - it's all about deterrence, and that is considerable even if you assume only a 50% or 10% chance of second strike success.

    The Cold War maximum deterrence approach was an approach taken by economically powerful nations facing other economically powerful nations. A much less comprehensive and fail-proof approach is still a credible deterrence in today's world.

    It's also a sideshow whether the second strike capability is global or not. A Pakistani sub can easily hit an Indian city and an Israeli sub can easily hit an Arab city.
    We don't know about their missile armament or their nuclear revenge plannings, but the export of sub designs offers them subs as second strike platforms.

    That's the point where I'd prefer not to have my country involved.

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    1. I understand your point of view, but a second strike option relaxes the pressure for first strike and thus reduces the chnces of wars going nuclear.
      Different question, would you like our country to abstain from preventing nuclear wars?

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    2. Bullshit. Neither country needs subs for a credible second strike capability and pumping up the muscle of a nuclear power hardly serves peace.
      Remember that nuclear second strike capability also means that they get away with just about every crap they do.

      Furthermore, neither country is really at risk of facing a nuclear first strike anyway. India is not that aggressive and the Israelis don't even face a single nuke in their region.

      Fact is both countries are pure trouble and it's unwise to be involved in their affairs in any way.

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