Third World Submarines; The Science of War: Weapons; Exclusive Online Issues; by Daniel J. Revelle and Lora Lumpe; 6 Page(s)
During the spring of 1993, Iran put the first of its new Russian built Kilo-class submarines through sea trials in the Persian Gulf. Its presence raises the specter of an Iranian attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway through which a fourth of the world's oil now passes.
Throughout the cold war, the U.S. Navy's highest priority mission was to engage Soviet nuclear-powered submarines in a global game of hide-and-seek. As that threat has faded, conflicting priorities have emerged. On one hand, the U.S. Navy is concerned about the threat that growing Third World naval forces pose to its ability to operate in coastal waters around the world. On the other hand, concern about the fate of the cold war industrial base is creating pressures for the U.S. to join former allies and enemies in supplying advanced dieselpowered attack submarines to developing countries.