By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) A former Green Beret commander, intelligence advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and current GOP lawmaker says that a Russia sub involved in a deadly fire that reportedly killed 14 sailors recently was likely involved in a secret mission to tap into global undersea data cables that drive and sustain the global economy.
As we reported earlier this week, the Russian sub in question was likely the “Losharik,â€ a nuclear-powered vessel U.S. and Western intelligence services believe was designed to cut theÂ undersea cablesÂ that deliver internet to the world.
TheÂ Washington Free Beacon added that the Losharik “may have been involved in secret operations by Moscow to support underwater drone operations.”
According to state-run Russian news reports, the Losharik is designed for deep sea military missions, such as tapping into undersea communications cables.
The submarine reportedly is capable of diving to nearly 20,000 feetâ€”deeper than other submarines can go because of the great pressures. It is powered by a single nuclear reactor and can travel up to 30 knots underwater.
There are some 550,000 miles of undersea cables that transmit and receive data spanning the Atlantic and Arctic sea lanes — cables that literally drive the global economy. Without them, modern commerce would cease to exist and economies would collapse.
News of the Russian accident and the involvement of Losharik comes as several major data outages were reported lastÂ week by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Verizon,Â Fox News reported.
In an interview with the network, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) said the Russians (and Chinese) are well aware of that and have included tapping into those cables or cutting them outright as part of their asymmetric warfare strategy against the West and the U.S. in particular.
“Our entire modern economy is dependent on these fiber optic cables — from banking to insurance, to financial markets,” Waltz said.
“So both the Russians and the Chinese have made it clear in their national security strategy that they are not going to take the United States on tank to tank, or aircraft carrier to aircraft carrier,” he continued.
“They are going to attack us asymmetrically. That’s attacking us in space, cyber, undermining our confidence in our elections or, in this case, and what this sub was doing, very likely, was taping into these cables to collect the data, to gather intel, and to put in place the ability to drop portions of the Internet, and to pull the rug out from our modern economy,” Waltz continued.
TheÂ Free BeaconÂ noted that inÂ April, MoscowÂ announced the launchÂ of a very large nuclear-powered research submarine called the Belgorod that will carry nuclear drones:
A report in the state-runÂ IzvestiaÂ in April 2017 reported that the Belgorod would also carry Losharik submersibles with a different designation than the AS-12. The report quoted Vadim Kozyulin, with the Academy of Military Sciences, as saying the Belgorod beginning in 2018 will carry “the AS-31 Losharik autonomous deep-sea station.”
“It will transport and install on the seabed autonomous underwater nuclear modules for charging unmanned underwater vehicles,” Kozyulin said. “The submarine will support the deployment of a global underwater environment monitoring system which the military is building at the bottom of the Arctic seas.”
As for the Russia sub fire, theÂ BBC reports that among the dead were 7 senior navy captains and 2 “Heroes of Russia.”
“This obviously means that this is a very high priority military research program,” Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear policymaker, told theÂ Free Beacon.
“I doubt they would put this level of effort on pure science research.”
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