The U.S. Navy Just Parked a Guided-Missile Submarine Right Near North Korea




 

Dave Majumdar

Security, Asia

And it could do some real damage if it has to.

The U.S. Navy Just Parked a Guided-Missile Submarine Right Near North Korea

As tensions with North Korea continue to rise, the United States continues to bring more long-range precision striking power into the region.

On October 13, USS Michigan (SSGN 727)-an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine-pulled into a South Korean naval base in the port city of Busan. While the U.S. Pacific Command states that Michigan's visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) was long planned, the message to North Korea is clear-the United States will stand by Seoul if Pyongyang makes any aggressive moves.

"The U.S. and ROK navies have always enjoyed a strong relationship. Today, our relationship is stronger than it has ever been and our ironclad partnership is further reinforced by this visit from Michigan." Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea said.

(Recommended: How America Could Go to War with Iran)

"Michigan Sailors were warmly welcomed by the ROK Navy today and I know they'll receive the same wonderful welcome from the local community during their visit to Busan."

Originally constructed as a ballistic missile submarine armed with 24 Trident II D5 missiles, Michigan was converted into a cruise missile carrier in 2007 and is armed with 154 UGM-109 Tomahawk missiles. The massive 18,750-ton submarine carries those Tomahawk cruise missiles in 22 missiles tubes that were originally used to house Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missiles. These days, instead of a Trident, each tube houses a Multiple All Up Round Canister (MAC) that can hold seven Tomahawks-turning the SSBN into a SSGN.

(Recommended: Exposed: China's Super Strategy to Crush America in a War)

The two remaining Trident missiles tubes onboard the four Ohio-class SSGN conversions- Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia-were converted into lock-out tubes for special operations forces such as operators from the U.S. Navy's elite SEAL Teams. Indeed, with SSGNs can host up to 66 special operations personnel and can also mount a dry-dock shelter and SEAL delivery vehicles. That makes the stealthy submarines an ideal weapon to insert other special operations forces into hostile territory-such as North Korea.

(Recommended: Japan's Master Plan to Defeat China in a War)

The Michigan and her crew will be in the region to familiarize themselves with America's South Korean partners and learn to operate with their fleet to counter Pyongyang's forces. Inserting special operations forces will likely be a skill Michigan's crews will exercise during training exercises. The vessel entered port with dry-dock shelters attached to its upper hull. "We are looking forward to working with our [Republic of Korea Navy] partners and experiencing the Korean culture, which is a first for many of us," Capt. Gustavo Gutierrez, Michigan's commanding officer, said.

With any luck, Michigan's job will simply be training and deterrence during her visit to Korea, but if worse comes to worse, she packs a very formidable punch.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.

Read full article
COMMENTS

More Related News

North Korea's Deadly Artillery Has the "Potential to Affect Millions of South Korean Citizens"
North Korea's Deadly Artillery Has the "Potential to Affect Millions of South Korean Citizens"

About that "ultramodern" weapon from last week: it could have been some fancy new artillery. 

North Korea
North Korea's new 'tactical' weapon test highlights military modernization
  • World
  • 2018-11-18 08:20:37Z

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un witnessed the test of a newly developed tactical weapon that could serve as a "steel wall", state media reported on Friday, without giving details of the weapon. It was Kim's first observation of a weapons test this year and could complicate already stalled

N. Korea swiftly expels US citizen amid nuclear talks
N. Korea swiftly expels US citizen amid nuclear talks

North Korea said Friday it had expelled a US citizen who tried to enter illegally, an unusually swift resolution of a case that could have further complicated reconciliation moves between the two countries. The man, identified as Lawrence Bruce Byron, had been in custody after crossing into North Korea from China on October 16, the official Korean Central News Agency said. "While being questioned, he said he had illegally entered the country under the command of the US Central Intelligence Agency," KCNA said.

North Korea says it has tested
North Korea says it has tested 'ultramodern tactical weapon'
  • World
  • 2018-11-16 00:44:03Z

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the successful test of "a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon," the nation's state media reported Friday, though it didn't describe what sort of weapon it was.

North Korea state media says Kim oversees testing of
North Korea state media says Kim oversees testing of 'newly developed' weapon: Yonhap
  • World
  • 2018-11-15 21:38:51Z

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's state media announced on Friday that leader Kim Jong Un inspected the site for testing a "newly developed cutting-edge strategic weapon", South Korean Yonhap news service reported. North Korea's Korean Central Television (KCTV) said without elaborating

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.