April 5, 2018 · ICEX2018 Russia Arctic Fiction

Dispatches from ICEX: Engagement

During Phase 3 of Project AMBER, Russian Istina-class microsubmarines were detected inside the ICEX exercise perimeter, prompting the deployment of two Strikepods to intercept.

Phase 3 of Project AMBER, wherein Strikepods were to detect, identify, track, and engage undersea targets using both kinetic and non-kinetic effects, was scheduled to commence at 0900Z Monday morning.

Analysis

Historically, the Russians have remained at a respectable distance during ICEX. While minor breaches of the exercise perimeter by Russian submarines is not without precedent, we have not experienced anything aggressive or combative. Today's incursion by Istina-class microsubmarines signals a significant departure from passive observation, suggesting that current Russian harassment of U.S. forces operating on and above the sea will carry over to the undersea domain as well.

We have encountered combative microsubmarine maneuvers before - in the Yellow Sea against the North Korean Gwisin-class, and in the South China Sea against the Chinese Shayu-class. We expected to encounter hostile Istinas during ICEX 2018 given Russia's Arctic territorial claims and its recent history of provocations, including brazenly violating U.S. territorial waters. As its navy continues to challenge U.S. global maritime interests, Russia clearly believes it can operate Istinas in any body of water without fear of political fallout or escalation.

[End]
Strikepod Command

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