The reports of the Ecuadorian Police and DEA finding a true submarine, that is one capable of submerging, about 100 feet long, built to smuggle six to ten metric tons of Cocaine, appeared over the 4th of July weekend. If you missed the reports, they are here and here.
The existence of such a sub raises some interesting operational questions.
First of course, they are more difficult to find than even the semi-submersibles that have been used in the past, and the Coast Guard has essentially no capability to detect a fully submerged submarine.
But even if the submarine is detected, first you have to be sure it is a Narco sub and not one of the hundreds of other subs out there that belong to the over forty countries that operate subs. Then how do you stop it? How do you even signal it? Do you sink it? In international waters? You might not be able to maintain contact for very long, so it better not take too long to get a decision on use of force?
Would be very interesting to find out what the true capabilities of the sub would have been.
Time to stock up on percussion grenades?