Surface Raiders I.
This is coolbert:
Photos here thanks to KTB Sharkhunters and Harry. [http://www.sharkhunters.com]
During the entire episode of the Cold War, the ubiquitous Russian "trawler" played an integral role on the "high seas".
Wherever the U.S. Navy was, so was the Russian trawler. Supposedly "fishing vessels" but in actuality adjuncts to the Soviet Navy. Merchant type "fishing vessels" primarily used for intelligence gathering, reconnaissance, surveillance. Also an oceanographic survey capability that was vital to the military.
Trawlers that maintained station off the Cape Kennedy space center during missile tests, the island of Guam reporting on the take-off of B-52 bombers during the Vietnam War, trailing American aircraft carrier groups [also not above interfering with the landings of airplanes].
Trawlers that did have the appearance of a civilian merchant ship. At least from outward appearances. Below decks or the waterline, MUCH MORE!!
These TRAWLERS WERE NOT ONLY FOR INTELLIGENCE GATHERING AND SUCH, BUT HAD AN OFFENSIVE CAPABILITY ALSO!! TRAWLERS EQUIPPED FOR NAVAL COMBAT WITH TORPEDO TUBES AND SONAR !
These "torpedo tubes" could be MULTIPURPOSE, depending upon the diameter.
Can fire conventional torpedoes, and if wide enough, cruise missiles! Can also deploy naval spetsnaz forces [combat swimmers, autonomous or remotely controlled underwater combat vehicles, etc.]!
And, with regard to the sonar: [thanks again here to Harry]
"[the] trawler has a nice 'stay-bright' sonar-window below the bow. These 'stay bright' windows use a high frequency sonar in the 32khz - 45khz range. The sonar makes a beautiful high resolution, high frequency picture of a submarine passing by it that is as detailed as any photograph . . . it [makes] a sound similar to two blocks of wood slamming against each other."
One nice aspect of utilizing such "civilian" vessels is that it allows you retain a combat capability close to the coastline of an adversary while NOT necessarily ruffling too many feathers!!
The Soviets had given considerable attention to the concept of naval surface raider. The "trawler" would have played a major role in case of war with the U.S.?
Labels: Surface Raider.