MOSCOW – The USSR had so many advanced submarines at the height of the Cold War that Western military strategists were willing to resort to any possible countermeasures, writes National Interest.
At the time of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the Caribbean Crisis, the Soviet Union had about 300 diesel-electric and some nuclear submarines – a force that the North Atlantic Alliance Navy could not keep up.
According to the US magazine, NATO strategists feared that the problem could only be solved by nuclear means, that is, by carrying out nuclear attacks on submarine bases along the Russian coast, but the alliance’s military could not make up its mind as to whether. this solution.
The magazine explains that by some seemingly crazy ideas have really proved worthwhile, such as the underwater Sound Surveillance System – a vast array of deep-sea microphones that patiently listened to Soviet submarines and continues to be used today.
Bomb with magnets
As the main protection of the Soviet submarines was their invisibility, it was suggested to throw air magnets that would attach themselves to the metallic hull of the enemy submarine, emitting noise and denouncing its location, which eliminates this advantage, the article explains.
It took time to remove these magnetic parts from submersibles, and so, according to the edition, the operational readiness of the Soviet submarine fleet would be reduced.
According to the article, the North Atlantic Alliance even came to realize this idea: first in the British-Canadian exercises, when magnets were thrown on the Royal Navy submarine Auriga, producing noise. This gave the hydro-acoustic military an opportunity to have fun, but at the same time created other problems.
When the Auriga submarine emerged at the end of the exercise, the magnets were trapped in the water inlet and outlet openings and could not be removed from the sea, and were only removed weeks later at a dry dock in the city of Halifax, Canada.
It should be noted that these flexible magnets were later launched from the air on the high seas and clattered noisily to the hull of several Soviet submarines, which thereafter had to return to ports instead of continuing their course.
However, the US magazine adds, if the USSR Navy could temporarily dispense with two submarines, NATO’s anti-submarine crews could not practice while their training vessels were covered with magnets.
As such, the magnets worked as expected but were not practical on a large scale due to crew formation difficulties.
Flexible magnets intended to stick to submarines turned out to be a fiasco, the article concludes.