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They were designed to be true hunters.
Here's What You Need to Know: These Cold War submarines are still a major asset despite most of their orders being cancelled.
The Seawolf-class submarines were envisioned as the best submarines ever built. Designed to succeed the Los Angeles–class attack submarines and maintain America’s edge in the underwater domain, the class suffered from cost overruns and the collapse of the Soviet Union. While still some of the best submarines ever built, they were built at reduced numbers. In many respects, they are the F-22 of submarines: widely considered the world's best, but costs made wide their wide usage a major challenge.
In the late 1980s, the U.S. Navy was faced with a crisis. In 1980, the Soviet Union had received information from the Walker family spy ring that the Navy could track its submarines through excessive propeller noise. As a result, the Soviet Union went looking for advanced Western machinery to make better propellers. In 1981, the Japanese company Toshiba sold propeller milling machinery—now relatively common nine-axis CNC milling machines—to the Soviet Union via the Norwegian Kongsberg corporation.
By the mid 1980s, the Soviet Union’s new machinery began to make itself felt. The new Akula-class submarines had a “steep drop in broadband acoustic noise profiles”. One government source told the Los Angeles Times, “the submarines started to get silent only after the Toshiba stuff went in.” On top of running silent, the Akula class could dive to depths of up to two thousand feet—while the U.S. Navy’s frontline submarines, the Los Angeles class, could dive to only 650 feet.
To combat the threat of the Akula class, the U.S. Navy responded with the Seawolf class of nuclear attack submarines. The Seawolf submarines were designed with HY-100 steel alloy hulls two inches thick, the better to withstand the pressures of deep diving. HY-100 steel is roughly 20 percent stronger than the HY-80 used in the Los Angeles class. As a result, the submarines are capable of diving to depths of up to two thousand feet, and crush depth estimates run from 2,400 to 3,000 feet.
At 353 feet, Seawolf subs were designed to be slightly shorter than their predecessors, by just seven feet, but with a twenty percent wider beam, making them forty feet wide. This width made them substantially heavier than the subs before them, topping the scales at 12,158 tons submerged.
The Seawolf submarines are each powered by one Westinghouse S6W nuclear reactor, driving two steam turbines to a total of 52,000 shaft horsepower. The class was the first class of American submarine to utilize pump-jet propulsors over propellers, a feature that has carried over to the newest Virginia class. As a result, a Seawolf is capable of eighteen knots on the surface, a maximum speed of 35 knots underwater, and a silent running speed of about 20 knots.
The Seawolf class is equipped with the BQQ 5D sonar system, which features a twenty-four-foot-diameter bow-mounted spherical active and passive array as well as wide-aperture passive flank arrays. The submarines are being refitted with TB-29A thin-line towed array sonar systems. Rounding out sonar systems is the BQS 24, for detection of close-range objects such as mines.
The ship’s original combat data system was the Lockheed Martin BSY-2, which uses a network of seventy Motorola 68030 processors—the same processor that drove early Macintosh computers—and is now being replaced with the AN/BYG-1 Weapons Control System.
The submarines were designed to be true hunters, and as a result have eight torpedo tubes, double the number of earlier submarines. It has stores for up a combination of up to fifty Mark 48 heavyweight torpedoes, Sub-Harpoon antiship missiles, and Tomahawk missiles. Alternatively, it can substitute some of this ordnance for mines.
The resulting submarine is according to the U.S. Navy ten times quieter over the full range of operating speeds than the Improved Los Angeles submarines, and an astonishing seventy times quieter than the original Los Angeles–class submarines. It can run quiet at twice the speed of previous boats.
This formidable increase in performance came at formidable increase in cost. The total Seawolf program was estimated at $33 billion for twelve submarines, an unacceptable cost considering the Soviet Union—and the threat of the Akula and follow-on subs—ended in 1991. The program was trimmed to just three submarines that cost $7.3 billion.
The extreme quietness of the Seawolf class gave the Navy the idea of modifying the last submarine, USS Jimmy Carter, to support clandestine operations. An extra one hundred feet was added to the hull, a section known as the Multi-Mission Platform (MMP). The MMP gives Carter the ability to send and recover Remotely Operated Vehicles/Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and SEALs and diving teams while submerged. It includes berthing for up to fifty SEALs or other attached personnel. Carter also features auxiliary maneuvering devices fore and aft for precise maneuvering in situations such as undersea cable tapping and other acts of espionage.
The Seawolf-class submarines are outstanding submarines, but the Cold War mindset at the time of development accepted high performance and consequently high costs to meet a high-level threat. The post–Cold War Virginia class forced the Navy to reign in costs while still producing a progressively better submarine. While unsuccessful as a class, the tiny Seawolf fleet is still a very useful part of the U.S. Navy submarine force, giving it capabilities not even the Virginia class can match.
Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.
This article first appeared in 2017.
Image: U.S. Navy photo
The National Interest
An international astronomy team that the University of Valencia is part of, has just published in Nature Astronomy the image of the heart of the Centaurus A galaxy in the finest detail ever. The work specifies the exact point where the supermassive black hole of this galaxy is located and allows us to observe how a gigantic jet of matter escaping from the black hole at speeds very close to that of light is originated. The image challenges current models of the origin of jets in black holes.
The matter jet image published now in a study led by Michael Janssen (Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany), challenges current models that try to explain the origin of relativistic jets in black holes.
The Centaur Galaxy (Centaurus A) is one of the most intense radio sources in the sky and its emission has been studied extensively across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to the most energetic gamma radiation. At the heart of Centaurus A there is a black hole with a mass equivalent to 55 million suns, halfway between the black hole of the M87 galaxy (of which the EHT obtained the famous image, with a mass of more than six billion suns) and the black hole in the centre of our galaxy (with only four million solar masses).
In this work, EHT observations –taken during the year 2017 – have been used to obtain an image of the Centaurus A black hole with an unprecedented level of detail.
Two male astronomers and a female astronomer from the University of Valencia are part of this international research team based on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, known for having obtained the first image of a black hole. They are Rebecca Azulay, who performed support astronomer tasks at Pico Veleta – the only European radio telescope that participated in the observations –; Iván Martí-Vidal –CIDEGENT researcher at the University of Valencia, who designed and applied the calibration algorithms for the most sensitive part of the EHT–; and Alejandro Mus –researcher in training, whose work focuses on the development of algorithms that will help reconstruct dynamic images of our Galactic Centre.
“These results allow us to see, for the first time, how matter is structured around this supermassive black hole with a level of detail of just over 20 light-hours. This allows us to contemplate the processes that give rise to the birth of the mysterious relativistic jets, which are found in many of the most massive black holes in the Universe”, says astronomer Michael Janssen, lead author of the work.
“We have obtained an image of Centaurus A with a resolution more than 15 times higher than the highest ever obtained in observations of this source. This formidable image is allowing us to study the structure of the black hole jet, from the smallest scales – the apparent size of a golf ball on the Moon, as seen from Earth – to the largest scales – an apparent size similar to the size of the Moon itself. The amount of information that we now have is overwhelming”, highlights Iván Martí-Vidal.
Understanding relativistic jets
Supermassive black holes, like the one that resides in the heart of Centaurus A, feed on the gas and dust around them, drawing it into their deep gravitational well. This process, called ‘accretion’, releases huge amounts of energy, much of which is emitted into outer space, resulting in what we know as ‘active galaxies’. While most of the accreted matter is engulfed by the black hole, a small fraction of that matter can escape and form so-called ‘relativistic jets’, one of the most mysterious phenomena in modern astrophysics.
Today, science has different models to explain the acceleration and propagation of matter in relativistic jets. However, very little is still known about the origin of these jets and how they can spread to cover distances much greater than the size of their entire host galaxy. “These EHT observations will help us find the answer to some of these fundamental questions”, says Alejandro Mus. “The new EHT image shows that Centaurus A’s jet is brighter at its outermost part, compared to the brilliance of its spine, that is how its central part is called. This is the first time that we have seen this phenomenon so pronounced in a relativistic jet”, adds Mus. “The results allow us to rule out several theoretical models of jet formation, which are unable to reproduce the enormous contrast observed between the ends and the spine of the jet”, says Matthias Kadler, from the University of Würzburg and co-author of the work.
Thanks to these observations of Centaurus A, it has been possible to locate the supermassive black hole with great precision, identifying it with the point where the relativistic jet is born. Based on these results, the team of astronomers plans future observations at even higher radio frequencies, which will make it possible to obtain images that are even sharper than those published now. The team also does not rule out that, in the future, in the longer term, images of the shadow of this black hole may be obtained, incorporating orbiting telescopes into the EHT network.
As more companies start to use the cloud, the threat of a data breach and the rules and fines that go with it has only grown. Therefore, companies and agencies need to anticipate and adapt to their changing data and IT landscape. For that, a zero trust approach to data security and privacy might be the ideal framework. Take a look at how combining it with data discovery and classification can close gaps in your walls and help you work more efficiently at the same time.
Why Zero Trust?
A zero trust model operates based on the idea that any user may pose a threat and cannot be trusted. Zero trust principles require ongoing trust checks of users and processes. Those, in turn, are based on context. Without them, you couldn’t have informed user access control and management. This real-time, context-aware zero trust framework ensures that security controls stay at the forefront of your plans. In addition, it takes into account that you’ll want to adapt to the modern hybrid multicloud environment. To support this model, you can start with data discovery and classification.
What Data Discovery and Classification Means in a Data Breach
In the face of internal and external threats, digital defenders need insight into their data. That includes knowing where it is stored, who has access to it, how sensitive it is and more. This lets you establish a baseline against which to measure odd behavior and potential data threats. From a data privacy standpoint, you also need to understand how personal data is being used and protected. That’s key in order to meet compliance needs. These might range from providing proof of adequate data protection controls to meeting data subject access requests. That’s a task that is made much easier when you know where your data is!
Data security and data privacy are closely related. Namely, data security is an essential technical layer to a successful strategy against a data breach. For both, data discovery and classification provide visibility into known and unknown areas of risk and exposure. Sadly, we cannot simply trust users or depend on them to report problems. As a result, businesses need to rely on tech to fill in the gaps.Register for the webinar
Finding the Best-in-Class Data Discovery and Classification
With the right data discovery and classification solution, you can pinpoint sensitive and personal data on an ongoing basis. You can also monitor for changes to and maintain a catalog of that data. Data discovery should extend to data at rest and in motion, as well as structured and unstructured data. It should be able to uncover both known and unknown data lakes. That means all variations of data and not just the ones that an admin instructed the solution to discover and classify.
It’s not all about protecting against a data breach. Sometimes it’s about keeping data neat and at hand. You want to stay on top of an evolving data landscape in an ongoing manner. But that’s beyond even the powers of the largest teams without the right tools. You need a solution that can do a lot of different things. At the same time as it’s locating sensitive data in unknown locations, it needs to monitor the transfer and copy of personal data and classify a wide range of data types. After all, that’s how you get a complete, accurate and sustainable view of the data lineage or lifecycle.
One way to do this is with a zero trust data discovery solution that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning. With it watching network transactions to find unknown personal data, your team will be better positioned to locate sensitive data and use this insight to take informed actions.
What You Need in a Data Breach
With a complete data inventory or catalog, you gain a view into the true risk facing sensitive data. From there, it’s easier to better rank and triage fixes. Whether these actions or controls come in the form of data activity monitoring, data encryption, data security analytics or response orchestration, data discovery and classification can help guide efforts to reduce data risk and address audit and compliance needs.
By having the right context, you can respond to incidents and customer requests alike in a much more streamlined and efficient way. For example, in response to a data breach, a data discovery and classification solution working with a data monitoring and analytics solution can provide much-needed contextual insight into affected personal data, the data subject and the various privacy laws by geography. This insight provides a more efficient response and a shorter time to resolution.
In another example, customers may request to know what personal data a company or agency has collected on them. To respond effectively, the data holder must have an automated and continuous method to discover, track, catalog and aggregate data according to the subject or customer. A well-maintained and dynamic view of the personal data landscape is also critical. After all, the group holding the data will need to execute data subject access request workflows within a reasonable and compliant timeframe.
In conclusion, a zero trust approach to data privacy and data security starts with sustainable and automated data discovery and classification. This crucial first step can protect organizations from cybersecurity threats, a data breach or regulatory non-compliance. It helps to ensure data privacy and security, while applying zero trust principles, by more precisely locating and identifying sensitive data so that security and privacy gaps are duly addressed.
Learn more at our webinar, “Fearless with zero trust: Data discovery and classification for privacy and security,” on July 28, 2021 at 11 a.m. EDT.
The post How Data Discovery and Zero Trust Can Help Defend Against a Data Breach appeared first on Security Intelligence.
The conservative bloc within the Christian Democratic and Christian Social Unions (CDU/CSU) leads the German electoral rating, while the gap from its closest rival, the Union90/Greens party, is 11 percentage points. This is evidenced by the data of a survey conducted by the Institute for the Study of Public Opinion INSA from 5 to 9 July 2021, in which 1,352 people took part.
According to data published in the Bild newspaper, if the elections to the Bundestag were held on Sunday, 28% of respondents would vote for the CDU/CSU; the Greens would receive 17% and the same amount would be received by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Free Democratic Party (FDP) would come in forth, according to the survey, 12% of respondents would give their votes for it. The Alternative for Germany party (AfD) would be supported by 11%; Die Linke party would get 8%.
The German federal election is expected to be held on 26 September. The winning party will have the right to form a government, and the leader of its party list will lead the cabinet after it is successfully formed.
Commenting on the pre-election situation in Germany, Michael Broening, a political analyst with the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, a member of the basic value commission of the German Social Democrats, suggested that there will be no fundamental changes in the country’s policy.
“While the upcoming elections in September certainly deserve the monicker ‘historic’ given the departure of Angela Merkel, the outcome in all likelihood is going to be one of continuity, not revolution,” he told PenzaNews.
In his opinion, the main question today is the question of which government coalition will take office in autumn.
“The most likely outcome at this point seems to be a coalition of the conservative party with the greens with a possible inclusion of either the liberals or the center-left Social Democrats. But things are in flux as can be seen in the poor performance of the Green party candidate, which has significantly brought down support for the Greens in the last couple of weeks,” Michael Broening said.
According to him, Die Linke and the Alternative for Germany have so far failed to gain much popular traction and most observers agree that they are unlikely to be part of any new government.
“With regards to the AfD this is not a question of likelihood but of certainty. Germany’s major parties by comparison share many fundamental convictions on core questions of current politics, vis-à-vis European integration, climate change, migration and digitalization. In theory this allows for several potential coalitions but it also prevents radical change from taking over once Angela Merkel has left the stage,” he explained.
In turn, Heribert Adam, Professor Emeritus of political sociology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, shared the opinion about the continuation of the previous course of Germany after Angela Merkel’s departure.
“CDU/CSU quarreled about her successor, but that was more a debate about style and personalities of three party candidates than alternative programs,” he stressed.
“The most recent forecasts by two renowned institutions agree that the CDU would just fall short of 30% of votes, followed by 20% for the Green Party, 15% for the centre-left social democrats (SPD), and 11% for the liberal business-oriented FDP. The two extremist parties, the right-wing, anti-immigrant AfD and the utopian orthodox “Left” are expected to receive 10% and 7% respectively. None of the other parties will invite them into an inevitable coalition government,” Heribert Adam added.
From his point of view, regardless of the outcome of the election, there are six potential coalition governments possible between the center parties.
“The results of the parties tradeoffs is any bodies guess. They will differ only in nuances and priorities, but not on fundamental issues,” the expert said.
Evgeniya Voyko, Associate Professor of the department of political science at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, also pointed to the likely party continuity and continuation of the current German policy.
“Angela Merkel’s successor, Armin Laschet, has not announced any course or ideas fundamentally different from those promoted by the current chancellor. Thus, radical changes in the country and in its foreign policy should not be expected,” the expert explained.
In her opinion, in Germany’s domestic policy there is a number of issues that need to be addressed.
“First of all, this is overcoming the consequences of the pandemic. Germany is one of those first-tier European countries that held a lockdown for quite a long time, which caused strong criticism from the population. Therefore, one of the tasks of those forces that will be in power will be to overcome the social, economic and political consequences of the pandemic. In addition, the agenda will include the problem of migration, the economy in general, and a relatively new issue of cyber threats,” Evgeniya Voyko said.
Speaking about foreign policy, she recalled that Armin Laschet is considered a moderate critic of Russia.
“According to him, the pressure of the Europeans on the Russian Federation has reached its limits and the next action can only be the rupture of diplomatic relations – a step that his party does not want to take. In addition, he does not share the harsh criticism of Moscow, which can be heard, for example, from the Greens,” the expert noted, suggesting that it would be difficult for the CDU/CSU bloc to enter into a coalition with other political forces.
Meanwhile, Patrick Sensburg, German MP from the CDU/CSU fraction, member of the Committee for the Scrutiny of Elections, Immunity and the Rules of Procedure, stressed that although there are always forecasts, it is difficult to say how the results of the election will be exactly.
“My expectancy is that the CDU/CSU of Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel will be around 35% with Armin Laschet and there will be a chance of a coalition between CDU/CSU and the Liberals or the Greens and Armin Laschet will be the next chancellor,” the German MP said.
“Laschet is already a successful Prime Ministers in North Rhine-Westphalia. In my opinion Armin Laschet has done good work in the recent years and I am sure that he will also do a good job as the next chancellor,” Patrick Sensburg added.
According to him, Angela Merkel’s departure from the post of head of the German government, which she has held since 2005, will certainly lead to inevitable changes.
“Every new chancellor brings his whole personality into this job. But there will also be lots of continuity. Armin Laschet has worked many years very good together with Angela Merkel. As Prime Minister in North Rhine-Westphalia he is already responsible for the politics of Germany. He is well known and his decision making process and his agenda is also transparent to the people,” the politician noted.
Meanwhile, Bill Davies, Associate Professor and Chair at the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology, School of Public Affairs, American University, shared the opinion that Angela Merkel will go down in history as one of the eminent Chancellors of post-war Germany, alongside her conservative predecessors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl.
At the same time, from his point of view, as of today, there is no really strong candidate for the post of chancellor in the country.
“Armin Laschet, looks a likely winner today not because he is running away with the election, but because of the weakness of the other candidates. The Greens’ candidate, Annalena Baerbock, is bogged down currently in a scandal and it is not yet clear how she will emerge from that […]. The SPD’s campaign is barely making any waves at all, and the smaller parties – FDP, AfD, Linke – will just eat into the votes of the larger parties without posing a direct threat to them at all,” Bill Davies said.
He suggested that Armin Laschet would win the elections, but doubted that he would become the same dominant figure in the Germany’s politics as Angela Merkel.
“If Laschet wins and the CDU/CSU remains in power, we can expect more of the same from Germany. A strong focus on European integration, a continuation of Merkels’ social and migration policies, and – depending on the success of the Green campaign – a further strengthening of Germany’s credentials in leading the fight against climate change and other environmental issues,” the expert concluded.
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