Russia-US-India: A US news outlet reported that a Russian Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks. The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July. Its presence only was confirmed after it left the region.
Comment: The US Navy prudently has made no comment on the story. There is nothing to be gained by providing any information to the Russians that corroborates or refutes the news item. The information cannot be corroborated in open source materials.
Akula-class submarines are quiet, by reputation. The Russians have flown strategic bomber missions against the US this summer. This is the first news item to suggest the bomber flights occurred during a submarine operation in the Gulf of Mexico. The coincidence remains unconfirmed, but plausible.
What is more interesting to NightWatch is the Indian Navy is leasing an Akula-class submarine from Russia, with significant Russian assistance. If the Russians can sneak into the Gulf of Mexico – sort of doubtful – imagine what the Indians can do with a similar submarine in the South China Sea or the Bohai Gulf.