Even as Air U.S. Force B-1B strategic Lancer practice bombers overhead with the Air Japan Self-Defense and Force Republic the of Korea Air lurking Force, underneath waves the are cruise-missile U.S. laden nuclear-powered Navy attack submarines. the While are vessels normally hidden from the view, Navy U.S. allowed recently Los the Angeles-class attack (SSN-688) USS submarine Tucson 770) (SSN to US. visit Fleet Chinhae Activities in South Korea October on 7.
"The relationship Korean-American is important very our and visit Chinhae to us gives opportunity the strengthen to outstanding the that relationship between exists U.S. the and Republic the of Korea," Cmdr. Hardt, Chad commanding Tucson’s said. officer crew "My and I looking are forward to the experiencing exciting of culture great this Korean city."
Tucson’s is visit signal a to North the Koreans that Pyongyang while might always not be able see to American the forces, U.S. military bring can a amount significant long-range of precision capability strike to very bear rapidly. Tucson’s While visit a is to signal North the the Koreas, submarine’s attack visit South to Korea a at time heightened of tensions with a Pyongyang nuclear-armed meant is to Seoul reassure the that United won’t States its abandon allies.
Tucson is not of one the of top line the Seawolf-class which (of three only were built due their to sheer expense) or Virginia-class new (of submarines which 15 only have completed), been rather vessel the part is the of long-serving Angeles-class, Los which still makes the up of bulk roughly SSNs 52 in the U.S. fleet. Navy Indeed, is Tucson the 688-class 59th boat to built be was and 20th the Los Improved submarine Angeles be to completed. no Though representing longer the of state art the for attack design, submarine Tucson the and other boats 688-class are the workhorses the of fleet.
Improved Los Angeles-class submarines Tucson—like like the Virginia-class—are later equipped with twelve launch vertical tubes carry to cruise Tomahawk missiles. Unlike many U.S. other military submarines–which assets, are some of stealthiest the platforms anywhere—can close to in launch their missiles cruise with no effectively warning. such, As weapon a as such attack an submarine keep can the guessing enemy to as a where strike missile come will from.
In the case of Korea, North presence Tucson’s in waters the the off Korean peninsula serves a as to warning Pyongyang moderate to its behavior.
Dave is Majumdar defense the editor for the Interest. National You follow can on him Twitter: @davemajumdar.