Defcon One: A Novel by Joe Weber

Defcon One: A Novel by Joe Weber

Author:Joe Weber [Weber, Joe]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Ignition Books
Published: 1989-01-13T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Ten


General Matuchek sat in the briefing room listening to the operations officer and the intelligence chief. The staff intel officer was speaking.

“General, the French Spot Earth resources satellite has photographed five Soviet Typhoon submarines leaving their secret base at Gremikha, on the Kola Peninsula. All of this activity has taken place in the past fourteen hours.”

“Go on, Colonel,” Matuchek urged.

“These subs, General, are the largest in the world. They’re five hundred fifty-eight feet long and carry twenty SS-N-20 ballistic missiles, which have a range of more than five thousand miles.”

“Where are these subs now?” Matuchek asked, writing notes on his briefing folder.

“We don’t know, sir. Probably headed for the center of the northern Atlantic. Each missile carries six to nine multiple independently targetable nuclear warheads.”

The officer paused, seeing Matuchek leafing through his folder. “General, they are capable of striking North America and Western Europe even when docked at their home port in Gremikha.”

“Please continue, Colonel,” Matuchek requested, looking at the last page of the report.

“At least eleven other subs—mostly Delta- and Yankee-class boats—have left port too. Another Typhoon, in the final stages of construction, is preparing to leave the shipyard at Severomorsk. Sir, missiles have already been loaded on that particular Typhoon and the boat has never been to sea.”

“What do you read from this?” Matuchek placed his pen on the table and folded his arms.

“Sir, the submarine bases at Polyarnyy and Petropavlovsk are empty, along with the secret base at Gremikha. The Soviets protect their fleet, especially the Typhoons, like mother hens. I believe, sir, they’re going to use these weapons on us.”

Matuchek glanced at his watch, keeping in mind his briefing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in eight minutes.

“Colonel,” Matuchek hesitated, “you may be absolutely correct. However, our immediate threat is the approaching Soviet bombers. They can do a lot of damage with their nuclear cruise missiles.”

“I couldn’t agree more, General. Their long-range airborne missiles do constitute a tremendous threat to our major coast cities, especially if they’re used in conjunction with nuclear weapons launched from submarines.”

“What is your recommendation, Colonel?” Matuchek continued, not waiting for a reply. “The submarine problem is not a NORAD priority, as you well know, until the missiles break the surface of the water.”

“I recognize that, General. My recommendation is to push the Joint Chiefs to focus more ASW coverage in the North Atlantic. The Russians can sit out there, with near impunity, and blast the hell out of Europe and North America. We really need all the naval air coverage we can concentrate in the North Atlantic.”

The small briefing room remained quiet while Matuchek organized his thoughts. “Okay, Colonel, I’ll suggest a stepped-up effort. The Navy isn’t going to appreciate the Air Force recommending any …” Matuchek paused. “You get the picture?”

“Yessir. We need a more concerted naval effort, though, or we’re going to be vulnerable in the midsection.”

“Alright, Jim. I appreciate all the work you and Matt have done. Keep me informed.”

“Yes, sir.”

Matuchek reached for the door handle leading to the private, sealed room where he would confer with the Joint Chiefs in three minutes.


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