A big rise in the number of Russian submarines in the North Atlantic has sparked fears of a new Cold War.
Military chiefs are worried President Vladimir Putin is deliberately provoking a confrontation with the UK and US.
First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin, the head of the Royal Navy, warned Russia is “more active in the Atlantic – our backyard – than it has been for over 30 years”. And a Navy source confirmed: “The sheer number of Russian submarines entering the North Atlantic is overwhelming.
“The tactics adopted by their captains are deliberately provocative and highly dangerous.
"While our Astute-class submarines are a match for their best submarines, the Russians are now deploying two or three submarines into our areas of operations where previously they would have sent only one.
"The war-gaming and manoeuvring has never been more intense, especially when we are unable to precisely locate our enemies.”
Rear Admiral Chris Parry added: “We face a stark choice. If Britain is to be protected in any future conflict, there will need to be substantial investment in our anti-submarine technologies and skills. We have catching up to do.”
US-Russian tensions are said to be at their worst since the end of the Cold War.
Earlier this year the Russian military warned that any incoming missile will be treated as a nuclear attack and will meet with immediate nuclear retaliation.
In its chilling threat, seen as being directed at Donald Trump, was published in Krasnaya Zvezda – the official newspaper of the Russian Ministry of Defence.
"Any attacking missile will be perceived as carrying a nuclear warhead," the article read.
The warning by Major General Andrei Sterlin and Col. Alexander Khryapin, continued: "The information about the missile launch will be automatically relayed to the Russian military-political leadership, which will determine the scope of retaliatory action by nuclear forces depending on the evolving situation."
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