A MAJOR operation to track a deadly Russian sub off the East Coast has failed as the US Navy warns that US North Atlantic waters are no longer a 'safe haven'.
Navy Second Fleet command trawled the North Atlantic for Russia's most powerful submarine, the Severodvinsk, but said it remained undetected despite a weeks long mission to find it.
The lack of certainty over the situation has led to the newly recommissioned 2nd Fleet Vice Admiral Andrew 'Woody' Lewis warning naval crews to be on guard from the moment they leave port.
Commander Lewis said: "Our ships can no longer expect to operate in a safe haven off the east coast or merely cross the Atlantic unhindered to operate in another location."
The cutting edge Severodvinsk, a Project 885 Yasen class guided missile submarine, is still believed to have been stalking the East coast since fall and poses a major threat to the mainland according to The Drive.
Severodvinsk can carry up to 40 Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles with a range of 1600 miles. Any of these could be nuclear-tipped.
The sub is the most advanced in the Russian arsenal, with Russian news saying it has unmatched stealth technology, active anti-torpedo defenses and anti-air capability.
The US military launched a major search involving Navy submarines, ships, and maritime patrol aircraft but the sub remained hidden.
The hunt for the Severodvinsk has been likened to the Sean Connery classic The Hunt for Red October, where an advanced soviet stealth sub evades capture along the East coast during the Cold War.
VA Lewis continued: "We are seeing an ever-increasing number of Russian submarines deploy in the Atlantic. These submarines are more capable than ever, deploying for longer periods of time with more lethal weapons systems."
The 13,800-ton, 390-foot long, Severodvinsk is a highly automated vessel with a crew of only 32 officers and 58 submariners according to USNI News.
The sub also carries anti-submarine missiles and has the capability to lay mines along with normal torpedoes.
It is part of an increasing Russian threat in the North Atlantic theatre.
In December a Russian intelligence ship, the Viktor Leonov, was a few hundred miles off the coast of South Georgia and operating without its lights or responding to radio calls according to the Military Times.
In response to the threat, the US has launched the USS Tennessee, which has a ballistic payload that includes new "tactical" mini-nukes, which can also be carried by air.
The two countries are also both working on competing hyper-sonic glide vehicles that are able to carry nukes over immense ranges.
Russia is also working on a deadly undersea autonomous torpedo.
The escalation has made fears of nuclear war more prevalent and likely as experts warn that the "low yield" weapons are lowering the nuclear threshold.
The news comes as all-out nuclear war ticks ever closer, according to the doomsday clock.
America's mighty nuclear arsenal
In total, the US has about 6,550 nuclear warheads and bombs, according to stats compiled by military experts.
About 300 bombs and air-launched cruise missiles are deployed on air bases in the United States.
Another 400 nuclear-tipped missiles are stationed underground in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota.
They’re primed ready to launch if and when they receive orders from the president
Another 150 bombs are scattered at bases in Europe.
A single nuclear-armed submarine carries the TNT equivalent of roughly seven World War 2s.
The US now plans to spend a trillion dollars updating all of its nukes and land, sea and air delivery systems.
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