Kilo Class (Admiral Arnold Morgan Series #2)

Kilo Class (Admiral Arnold Morgan Series #2)

by Patrick Robinson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061835674
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Admiral Arnold Morgan Series , #2
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 129,739
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Patrick Robinson is the author of seven international bestselling suspense thrillers, including Nimitz Class and Hunter Killer, as well as several nonfiction bestsellers. He divides his time between Ireland and Cape Cod.

Read an Excerpt

Captain Tug Mottram could almost feel the barometric pressure rising. The wind had roared for two days out of the northwest at around forty knots and was now suddenly increasing to fifty knots and more as it backed. The first snow flurries were already being blown across the heaving, rearing lead-colored sea, and every forty seconds gigantic ocean swells a half-mile across surged up behind. The wind and the mountainous, confused sea had moved from user-friendly to lethal in under fifteen minutes, as it often does in the fickle atmospherics of the Southern Ocean--particularly along the howling outer corridor of the Roaring Forties where Cuttyhunk now ran crosswind, gallantly, toward the southeast.
Tug Mottram had ordered the ship battened down two days ago. All watertight doors were closed and clipped. Fan intakes were shut off. No one was permitted on the upper deck aft of the bridge. The Captain gazed out ahead, through snow that suddenly became sleet, slashing sideways across his already small horizon. The wipers on the big wheelhouse windows could cope. Just. But astern the situation was deteriorating as the huge seas from the northwest, made more menacing by the violent cross-seas from the beam, now seemed intent on engulfing the 279-foot steel-hulled research ship from Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
"Decrease speed to twelve knots," Mottram said. "We don't wanna run even one knot faster than the sea. Not with the rear end design of this bastard."
"You ever broached, sir?" the young navigation officer, Kit Berens, asked, his dark, handsome features set in a deep frown.
"Damn right. In a sea like this. Going just too fast."
"Christ. Did the wave break right overyou?"
"Sure did. Pooped her right out. About a billion tons of green water crashed over the stern, buried the rear gun deck and the flight deck, then flooded down the starboard side. Swung us right around, with the rudders clear out of the water. Next wave hit us amidships. I thought we were gone."
"Jesus. What kind of a ship was it?"
"US Navy destroyer. Spruance. Eight thousand tons. I was driving her. Matter of fact it makes me downright nervous even to think about it. Twelve years later."
"Was it down here in the Antarctic, sir? Like us?"
"Uh-uh. We were in the Pacific. Far south. But not this far."
"How the hell did she survive it?"
"Oh, those Navy warships are unbelievably stable. She heeled right over, plowed forward, and came up again right way. Not like this baby. She'll go straight to the bottom if we fuck it up."
"Jesus," Kit said, gazing with awe at the giant wall of water that towered above Cuttyhunk's highly vulnerable, low-slung aft section. "We're just a cork compared to a destroyer. What d'we do?"
"We just keep running. A coupla knots slower than the sea. Stay in tight control of the rudders. Keep 'em under. Hold her course, stern on to the bigger swells. Look for shelter in the lee of the islands."
Outside, the wind was gusting violently up to seventy knots as the deep, low-pressure area sweeping eastward around the Antarctic continued to cause the daylong almost friendly northwester to back around, first to the west, and now, in the last five minutes, to the cold southwest.
The sea was at once huge and confused, the prevailing ocean swells from the northwest colliding with the rising storm conditions from the southwest. The area of these fiercely rough seas was relatively small given the vastness of the Southern Ocean, but that was little comfort to Tug Mottram and his men as they climbed eighty-foot waves. Cuttyhunk was right in the middle of it, and she was taking a serious pounding.
The sleet changed back to snow, and within moments small white drifts gathered on the gunwales on the starboard bow. But they were only fleeting; the great sea continued to hurl tons of frigid water onto the foredeck. In the split second it took for the ocean spray to fly against the for'ard bulkhead, it turned to ice. Peering through the window, Tug Mottram could see the tiny bright particles ricochet off the port-side winch. He guessed the still-air temperature on deck had dropped to around minus five degrees C. With the windchill of a force-ten gale, the real temperature out there was probably fifteen below zero.
Cuttyhunk pitched slowly forward into the receding slope of a swell, and Tug could see Kit Berens in the doorway to the communications room, stating their precise position. "Right now, forty-eight south, sixty-seven east, heading southeast, just about a hundred miles northwest Kerguelen Island . . ."
He watched his twenty-three-year-old navigator, sensed his uneasiness, and muttered to no one in particular, "This thing is built for a head sea. If we have a problem, it's right back there over the stern." Then, louder and clearer now, "Watch those new swells coming in from the beam, Bob. I'd hate to have one of them slew us around."
"Aye, sir," replied Bob Lander, who was, like Tug himself, a former US Navy lieutenant commander. The main difference between them was that the Captain had been coaxed out of the Navy at the age of thirty-eight to become the senior commanding officer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Whereas Bob, ten years older, had merely run out his time in dark blue, retiring as a lieutenant commander, and was now second in command of the Cuttyhunk. They were both big, powerful men, natives of Cape Cod, lifelong seamen, lifelong friends. Cuttyhunk, named after the most westerly of the Elizabeth Islands, was in safe hands, despite the terrifying claws of the gale that was currently howling out of the Antarctic.
"Kinda breezy out there now," said Lander. "You want me to nip down and offer a few encouraging words to the eggheads?"


On Friday, May 1, welcomed Patrick Robinson, author of KILO CLASS.

Moderator: Welcome to, Patrick Robinson. We are looking forward to discussing some heavy-duty military intrigue this evening and pleased you could join us to discuss KILO CLASS.

Patrick Robinson: Hello, and thank you very much. I am very pleased to be here for a second year.

Edward from Boston: I just read NIMITZ CLASS and loved it. Congratulations for making the bestseller list! Can you tell us in your own words what KILO CLASS is about?

Patrick Robinson: Kilo Class is, as you know, the submarine which was the villain in NIMITZ CLASS. The Kilo Class submarine has recently been purchased by one or two very shaky regimes, in particular Iran. The Ayatollah now has three of them, but the real problem is that China has just ordered ten of them. Indeed, China has taken delivery of two of them already. KILO CLASS is the story of the Pentagon's attempt to stop them from getting the other eight without causing World War III. The basis of the book is that Russia will sell the Kilo Class submarine to anyone with $300 million to spare. Russia will not listen to an American overture to abandon the order. China wants those submarines for one reason -- to blockade the Taiwan Strait and ultimately retake the rich, independent, American-backed island 100 miles off their eastern shore. The book KILO CLASS presents you with the same conundrum. The Pentagon chiefs have now to catch the eight submarines and kill them without getting caught. Back operation, special forces deep in Russia -- that's the drift.

Dale from Williamsburg, VA: What sources of information have you consulted for the technical descriptions of Russian and American naval vessels?

Patrick Robinson: My principal source of information is always Admiral Sir John Woodward, whose biography I wrote -- a number-one bestseller in England called ONE HUNDRED DAYS. Tom Clancy wrote on the cover of the paperback, "The best book about high command I have ever read." Admiral Woodward commanded the Royal Navy fleet in the 1982 battle for the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Woodward lost seven warships, including three destroyers, but he defeated Argentina and he conducted the operations from the carrier freight in the war zone Hermes. Admiral Woodward was also flag officer of the Royal Navy submarine services, a nuclear submarine commander, plus commander-in-chief of the home fleet. He has deep experience working in association with the U.S. Navy. He is the only man in 40 years to have fought a major war at sea. My other sources are all American, but most of them are serving officers and I may not name them. However, Captain Peter O'Conner, former commanding officer of the missile cruiser Yorktown, is always a huge help.

Leighton from New York: What makes the Kilo submarine so dangerous? How does she differ from other submarines?

Patrick Robinson: The Kilo Class submarine, unlike most other submarines, is a diesel electric. She runs on her battery. For 48 hours at a time at under five knots she is completely silent, undetectable by sonar. Nuclear submarines differ in two principal ways You can hear them at a 50-mile range, and because the nuclear reactor heats the sea water in the wake of the ship, they can be seen on the heat-seeking satellite photos 22,000 miles above the earth. The Kilo Class leaves no such telltale wake. Her business is stealth, and she is almost undetectable. All submarines like to fight alone and in secret, and the Kilo is probably the quietest creature in all of the oceans. She packs a pretty good wallop, too. She can deliver a big torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. You could catch her if you knew where she was, but mostly you don't. Working close in shore, she is a nightmare.

Peter from Austin, TX: When did Russia start making Kilo submarines? Does the U.S. have an equivalent as dangerous?

Patrick Robinson: Russia has made Kilo Class submarines for many, many years -- maybe 30. It is an old design, but the Russians have continually updated it. It is the one submarine, indeed the one warship Russians made which has a very large export market. This submarine keeps the Russian navy afloat. At $300 million each, they provide the main export shipping income of all of Russia. America has no onshore diesel electric submarines because the U.S. Navy believes, rightly, that enemies of the U.S. are located far away. Therefore, they tend to use big fast nuclear submarines like cavalry, sweeping across the oceans to trouble spots -- fast, deep, and with a colossal punch. America does not really need an onshore submarine to creep along its coastline --they could nail a Kilo if they could find it. But they couldn't find it any better than another Kilo in a nuclear boat. Britain has four diesel electrics, all of which they are planning to sell in the next four years. The Kilo is a specialist submarine, and it is required by countries with a specialist mission, like China's in the Taiwan Strait locking out the big U.S. battle groups.

Mark from Delaware: Which countries possess Kilos now? Should the international community be frightened? Should the U.S. attempt to get the UN to ban further sales?

Patrick Robinson: Not possible. they would tell us to forget it. They will sell what they can. They need the money.

Stan from North Carolina: Will any of the characters from NIMITZ CLASS make appearances in the new book?

Patrick Robinson: Yes. Admiral Arnold Morgan, the irascible head of military intelligence, is brought into the White House as the president's national security advisor -- he stuns the staff by threatening to fire his chauffeur for being two minutes late on the first day. The Black Operations' submarine commander, Boomer Dunning, features very big in the deadly secret operation against China's Russian submarines. Bill Baldrich shows up with his new wife and some of the top military brass. Dunning, of course, comes from Cape Cod, and Baldrich, now resigned from the Navy, is running the family ranch in Kansas.

Gordie from Santa Fe, NM: Have you ever been in the situation where something you've written about shows up in headlines a few months later? I know a similar thing is happening right now with THE COBRA EVENT.

Patrick Robinson: Yes. NIMITZ accurately forecasts that Iran would end up with three Kilo Class submarines. Last autumn she got the third, arriving under a Russian flag in Bandar Abbas, escorted by another Russian warship. You probably saw the big Nimitz Class carrier that was parked right off Iraq, escorted by among others, The Port Royal and The O'Bannon -- both of which were her consorts in Nimitz Class.

Reagan from Boyton Beach, FL: Do you know how Nimitz Class has sold abroad? I think it could be very popular internationally. Congrats on making the bestseller list here in the U.S.!

Patrick Robinson: NIMITZ CLASS was translated into 14 different languages. It won the Italian National Prize for Best Foreign Fiction. In the initial judging it tied with Tom Clancy's latest book, but in the final jury voting between the two, NIMITZ had it 19 to 12. It was very big in France, and sold over 100,000 paperbacks in the United Kingdom in three weeks. Topped the bestseller list in Italy, and reached the bestseller list in Japan and, I think, Taiwan.

Phillip from Michigan: How many books are you going to come up with in this "class" series? Also, I'd like to know if you were ever in the military. Thanks.

Patrick Robinson: I am writing a submarine trilogy with many of the same characters involved. The third one will come out next spring. It is called HMS UNSEEN. Another terrorist story. My fourth book will be entirely different, but the fifth may be a sudden switchback to the vexed problem of Chinese naval expansion and a totally shocking action in the Taiwan Strait. The Pentagon trusts only one man to take over the U.S. No, I have not been in the military myself, but it has been a lifelong reading hobby, and I never stray far from my friend Admiral Woodward.

Daniel G. from Brooklyn, NY: What got you interested in writing technothrillers? Had you read a lot of Clancy books and realized you could do it better?

Patrick Robinson: No, it was nothing as simple as that. I rather insolently contacted Admiral Woodward before he retired and told him I thought I was the man to write his biography, despite the fact that the only ship that I had ever written about was an America's Cup racing yacht. Somehow the Admiral chose me to write his biography, I think because he liked my Australian helmsman decoration and he did not need an expert to help to write his story. "I am a bloody expert. I need a blow who can scribble," he said. The admiral agreed, and somehow we wrote a number-one bestseller in England. And then it was his suggestion that I write a technothriller and he be my navy adviser. I had never written a novel before, and I was so nervous that I didn't even show anyone until I finished it. After that, things began to look up a bit.

Simon Winter from Pittsburgh, PA: What is your opinion of the CIA today? Can they possibly counter or deter the sales of these deadly Kilos -- or their equivalent -- in the future?

Patrick Robinson: I think the CIA is a terrific organization undertaking a near impossible job. The place is full of dedicated, patriotic people, all with one brief to find, locate, and try to eliminate enemies of the U.S. There are a lot of unsung heroes operating for that organization, but I am afraid the Russian problem, exporting the Kilos, is too difficult to crack. They simply need the money, and they will not listen to anyone. In short, they would rather have an angry America then four shipyards closed down and rioting Russian workers.

Stan from North Carolina: Have you had the opportunity, during your research or as a result of your previous books, to take a cruise on a submarine? If so, what was your reaction?

Patrick Robinson: No, I haven't, but I have recently been informed that I would be welcomed to do so, and I hope to take the opportunity this summer. A long time ago, when I was a newspaper reporter in the 1960s, I did go out on a Polaris submarine in Scotland, which was memorable but distant. I remember principally having dinner with the captain and executive officer. We each drank six large brandy-and-ginger-ales. Rest assured that we were not within reach of world-destroying weapons.

Ben Rhea from Atlanta, GA: I really like your writing style. Have you had formal training in writing? How would you describe your writing process? Do you create an outline for your books?

Patrick Robinson: I have written a lot of books. Eight before NIMITZ CLASS, and I was a journalist for several years. I suppose I have the journalist's training not to prevaricate but rather to kick the story forward at all costs. I learned the discipline of writing by doing advertising -- direct-mail brochures to a tight word count -- in a Pennsylvania corporation. I work to a very specific outline. I usually have 14 chapters. I tend to keep each chapter the same length, around 1,100 words, or 32 pages on my computer. My outline is very detailed, usually stretching over 30 pages, carefully planning each chapter and everything that will be in it. I try to write a chapter every week, which means I need to do about six pages a day. I never begin a book until I know what the last paragraph of the entire book will say. If you are thinking of writing a book, never set out into the unknown. Get your plot definite and tight before you start. It is like writing a symphony. Discipline is everything.

Kai from Madison, NJ: How much of a threat do you think China is to our national security?

Patrick Robinson: I think China is an absolutely bloody menace. Aided and abetted by your somewhat preoccupied president, China is well on the way to becoming the richest nation in the world inside the next 20 years. Eight years from now she will acquire all of the Persian Gulf's oil. They already have a massive stake in the other great oil producing areas east of the Caspian Sea, and the American government is allowing them most favored nation status and presenting them with technology they have no right to own. Their order for ten Kilos is profoundly disturbing. They have vowed to retake Taiwan, and if they get that submarine fleet in order, they just might try it. God knows what would happen then. My own view is that in the end, China will need to be isolated and separated from Russia, which now appears to be her best friend, next to the Oval Office.

Mario from NYC: What does Admiral Woodward think of his alter ego, Admiral Morgan? How are they similar and, most interestingly, how are they different? Ciao!

Patrick Robinson: Admiral Woodward's alter ego is not Admiral Morgan, I am afraid. Admiral Woodward's alter ego is the urbane and scholarly Admiral Sir Ian McClain of Scotland. They were both teachers at Faslane, where Commander Admond was trained. Admiral Woodward, by the way, says he is nothing like McClain, but that may be a failing on my part. I meant him to be. Admiral McClain is due to make a serious comeback in my next book.

Benito Marcos from Framingham, MA: Do you sail? Scuba? Why are your books so centered around underwater adventures?

Patrick Robinson: Yes. I do sail a small [boat] with a jib. At my peak, I always considered myself a potential Dennis Conner. But my Australian helmsman, John Bertrand, the America's Cup winner, says my efforts are absolutely bloody useless. I did Bertrand's biography, which was a number-one bestseller in Australia every day for a year. It is called BORN TO WIN. The title was about him, not me. The Aussie always tells me, stick with writing and stay away from the helm. I don't scuba, but I have a reasonable imagination.

Moderator: Thank you for joining us on this Friday evening, Patrick Robinson. KILO CLASS and NIMITZ CLASS certainly provided fascinating subjects for this chat. Do you have any final words for the online audience?

Patrick Robinson: All three of my submarine books are embedded in the truth about potential modern conflicts. I have tried to weave a thriller around each of them, but the dangers are real, not imagined. As Admiral Woodward said in his afterword to KILO CLASS, "They should be read not just by Naval Officers but by everyone." I am with the Admiral on that one. Thank you very much for inviting me to talk with you.

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Kilo Class (Admiral Arnold Morgan Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This guy knows his stuff! Great showdown with the US and China. Just when you think you know what is going to happen, it turns around. Had me going till the end. Got it done in 5 days! Could not put it down. If your looking for a good run, run, SHOOT book with the Navy in it this is the book. Going on to read some more books of his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patrick Robinson writes a good book. He keeps your attention from page 1 to the end
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book and was truly hard to put down. The action and suspense continued from beginning to end, and the superb writing style made it a pleasure to read. I also appreciated the abundance of technical detail that made the story more realistic and interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent read! If You're into naval books,READ IT. Robinson's outdone himself this time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jam packed with fast moving action in a plot that is reasonably plausible. The author displays familiarity with his subject matter a la Tom Clancy. A top notch story teller.
rw_flyer on LibraryThing 3 months ago
An interesting story, but the quality of the writing and the character development are both poor which considerably lowered my enjoyment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seems to be written in the great style of Tom Clancy. The cast of characters in the front of the book is great. I’m on my way looking for the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My second book from this author and am amazed with the details and plots. Look forward to the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to tale res 1
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The slave walks in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She turns quickly. "H-hi."
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yet another book in the series for any military sailor to enjoy. It is the opinion of this sailor that those trashing the series have never rightfully served in any capacity found in the text and cannot appreciate the plot and detail. Truely enjoyable.
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ilikereds More than 1 year ago
Patrick Robinson is a great author who has done a great job of talking about relavent and current topics and inter-mixing them with the US and UK submarine service and the US Navy SEALS! What is not to like about that. Kile Class is by far my favorite of all of his books. I could read it over and over again. This needs to be made into a movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago