Daily Archives: December 17, 2012

Fast attack submarine arrives in Maine for maintenance

KITTERY — The USS Topeka (SSN 754), a Navy fast attack submarine, and its crew of 120 enlisted personnel and 13 officers arrived Sunday at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

In this 2009 photo, the USS Topeka departs Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. Topeka was showcased in the movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

Shipyard spokesperson Danna Eddy said the Topeka, which recently completed a six-month deployment that took the submarine to the western Pacific Ocean, will undergo maintenance and system upgrades during its stay in Maine.

Its tour of duty, which covered more than 35,000 nautical miles, took the submarine to Japan, Singapore and Guam.

Topeka is the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for the city of Topeka. It is a Los Angeles-class nuclear powered submarine featuring a retractable bow plane and a reinforced sail for working under ice. It has Tomahawk cruise missile capability.

Topeka is assigned to the Pacific fleet . Its homeport is San Diego.

Source – Portland Press Herald

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Expert: China’s submarines close to world level

When commentating as a guest on People’s Daily Online, naval expert Li Jie said that submarines independently designed by China are close to those of the United States, Russia, Germany and Japan in performance indicators, despite slight gaps from developed countries in terms of power plant and noise.

Li Jie explained that China’s process of designing and building submarines has been actually getting mature and increasingly improved. By virtue of the intelligence and wisdom of Chinese people, China has made significant achievements in submarine design. The submarines independently designed by China have no big problems but some slight gaps in noise, material application and power supply.

Li Jie added China’s submarines are very close to nuclear submarines developed by the U.S. and Russia as well as conventional submarines developed of Japan and Germany in performance indicators, with narrowing gaps with them. Specifically, China has made improvements in mute effect, invisibility, material application, underwater hitting power, while we are also developing long-range, short-range, anti-ship and ballistic missiles. Additionally, we are also making effort to improve AIP submarines, and have made a great progress.

Source – Peoples Daily online

All at sea: Clyde-based Trident sub stranded in US despite £300m overhaul

Trident submarine HMS Vigilant has been forced to limp back to port in the US after its rudder broke, upsetting Britain’s nuclear weapons patrols and undermining the effectiveness of a £300 million

HMS Vigilant suffered damage while heading home to Scotland

HMS Vigilant suffered damage while heading home to Scotland

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that HMS Vigilant, a nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying nuclear warheads, was disabled while on the way home to the Faslane naval base on the Clyde after test-firing a Trident missile in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on October 23.

The submarine is understood to have turned around and returned to the US naval base at Kings Bay in Georgia, near Florida, where the damage is now being investigated and repaired. The base is home to the US fleet of Trident submarines.

A submariner on Vigilant revealed that the boat’s planned schedule had been disrupted when he complained on Twitter that he was “stuck in the USA for Christmas”. Vigilant was due to return to Scotland to recommence continuous patrols of the oceans after a three-year overhaul.

The MoD has released few details of what happened because the operations of Trident submarines have the highest security classification. The ministry never usually says where the boats are, or whether they are carrying nuclear weapons.

“While returning to the UK after the successful firing of an unarmed Trident II D5 missile, HMS Vigilant suffered a defect to her rudder,” an MoD spokesman said. “This is not nuclear-related and the crew and boat have safely returned to port where the defect is being assessed.”

A source told the Sunday Herald that damage had been caused by “debris at sea”, but this was not confirmed by the MoD. “There is no evidence that there was a collision at sea,” said the MoD spokesman.

Steven Savage, a sailor currently serving on Vigilant, sent a tweet on December 8 to the BBC in Teesside saying he was missing Middlesbrough Football Club, known as Boro.

“Can we have a shout out to all the Boro fans on HMS Vigilant (submarine). Stuck in the USA for Xmas #missingtheboro,” he said.

Vigilant is one of four Vanguard-class submarines equipped to carry nuclear-tipped Trident missiles. One submarine is meant to be patrolling the seas 24/7 as part of a policy of “continuous at-sea deterrence”.

Last month, Defence Minister Philip Dunne told Parliament that Vigilant had recently completed a major overhaul.

Test-firing the missile was part of a “demonstration and shakedown operation” designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent before the submarine returned to service.

According to the Royal Navy, the overhaul cost more than £300m, took three years and involved refuelling the submarine’s reactor. More that 200 significant upgrades were made to the submarine’s machinery and operating systems.

Critics questioned how a submarine that had just undergone such an extensive and expensive overhaul could immediately break its rudder. They were also concerned about whether it would be safe to sail with a defective rudder.

“The navy is probably very concerned about this,” said John Large, an independent expert on nuclear submarines. “It may be that the maintenance work caused the problem.”

He suggested that the rudder could have suffered a mechanical failure with its hydraulics or communications systems, or may have snagged on a cable used to tow a sonar array to detect other submarines.

The incident would also have been embarrassing, Large argued. “I would imagine the boat would have to surface, which is a disaster for a stealth submarine because it can be seen,” he said.

He also pointed out that Trident submarines were very dependent on keeping to their programme. “If something goes wrong it completely screws up the schedule,” he added.

John Ainslie, co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, claimed that sailing a Trident submarine across the Atlantic with a “dodgy” rudder could cause a collision with “catastrophic consequences”.

He also claimed that repairs would delay when Vigilant becomes fully operational. “It will have an impact on the navy’s ability to keep one Trident submarine at sea at all times,” he said.

“Rather than rushing to patch up the rudder, the MoD should follow the Liberal Democrats’ advice and end continuous at-sea deterrence. Then they can take as long as they like to fix this problem.”

Another Trident submarine, HMS Vanguard, famously collided with a nuclear-armed French submarine, Le Triomphant, in February 2009 somewhere in the Atlantic. Both boats had to return home for repairs.

The submarine is understood to have turned around and returned to the US naval base at Kings Bay in Georgia, near Florida, where the damage is now being investigated and repaired. The base is home to the US fleet of Trident submarines.

A submariner on Vigilant revealed that the boat’s planned schedule had been disrupted when he complained on Twitter that he was “stuck in the USA for Christmas”. Vigilant was due to return to Scotland to recommence continuous patrols of the oceans after a three-year overhaul.

HMS Vigilant - one of the Royal Navy`s Trident submarines

The MoD has released few details of what happened because the operations of Trident submarines have the highest security classification. The ministry never usually says where the boats are, or whether they are carrying nuclear weapons.

“While returning to the UK after the successful firing of an unarmed Trident II D5 missile, HMS Vigilant suffered a defect to her rudder,” an MoD spokesman said. “This is not nuclear-related and the crew and boat have safely returned to port where the defect is being assessed.”

A source told the Sunday Herald that damage had been caused by “debris at sea”, but this was not confirmed by the MoD. “There is no evidence that there was a collision at sea,” said the MoD spokesman.

Steven Savage, a sailor currently serving on Vigilant, sent a tweet on December 8 to the BBC in Teesside saying he was missing Middlesbrough Football Club, known as Boro.

“Can we have a shout out to all the Boro fans on HMS Vigilant (submarine). Stuck in the USA for Xmas #missingtheboro,” he said.

Vigilant is one of four Vanguard-class submarines equipped to carry nuclear-tipped Trident missiles. One submarine is meant to be patrolling the seas 24/7 as part of a policy of “continuous at-sea deterrence”.

Last month, Defence Minister Philip Dunne told Parliament that Vigilant had recently completed a major overhaul.

Test-firing the missile was part of a “demonstration and shakedown operation” designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent before the submarine returned to service.

According to the Royal Navy, the overhaul cost more than £300m, took three years and involved refuelling the submarine’s reactor. More that 200 significant upgrades were made to the submarine’s machinery and operating systems.

Critics questioned how a submarine that had just undergone such an extensive and expensive overhaul could immediately break its rudder. They were also concerned about whether it would be safe to sail with a defective rudder.

“The navy is probably very concerned about this,” said John Large, an independent expert on nuclear submarines. “It may be that the maintenance work caused the problem.”

He suggested that the rudder could have suffered a mechanical failure with its hydraulics or communications systems, or may have snagged on a cable used to tow a sonar array to detect other submarines.

The incident would also have been embarrassing, Large argued. “I would imagine the boat would have to surface, which is a disaster for a stealth submarine because it can be seen,” he said.

He also pointed out that Trident submarines were very dependent on keeping to their programme. “If something goes wrong it completely screws up the schedule,” he added.

John Ainslie, co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, claimed that sailing a Trident submarine across the Atlantic with a “dodgy” rudder could cause a collision with “catastrophic consequences”.

He also claimed that repairs would delay when Vigilant becomes fully operational. “It will have an impact on the navy’s ability to keep one Trident submarine at sea at all times,” he said.

“Rather than rushing to patch up the rudder, the MoD should follow the Liberal Democrats’ advice and end continuous at-sea deterrence. Then they can take as long as they like to fix this problem.”

Another Trident submarine, HMS Vanguard, famously collided with a nuclear-armed French submarine, Le Triomphant, in February 2009 somewhere in the Atlantic. Both boats had to return home for repairs.

Source – Herald Scotland

Soviet submarine wreck found off Sweden – Video clip

 Sub reck
Video clip can be viewed by clicking the picture “or” the source link at the bottom…..
 

The wreck was discovered earlier this autumn following reports in the Russian media that Swedish civilian divers had found a submarine wreck southeast of Öland, the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) said in a statement.
The wreck was localized by the submarine rescue ship HMS Belos, which also managed to take pictures of the sunken Soviet sub.

According to the Swedish military, the wreck is likely that of S6, a Soviet submarine that went missing in September 1941.
The wreck was found near the Wartburg mine barrier in international waters, but within Sweden’s economic zone.
While it remains unclear exactly what may have caused S6 to go down, an open hatch provides some clues as to what may have happened.
“Boats at the time often sailed on the surface in order to quickly flee and/or to recharge their batteries,” Commander Christian Allerman of the Swedish Navy said in a statement.
The Swedish military theorized that the submarine simply sailed right into the mine barrier and was blown up by a mine.
The wreck consists of two main pieces, with the bow section coming to rest about 20 metres north of the stern section, which was found next to a torpedo-like object.
The images captured by the HMS Belos also show Russian text on the wreck, as well as the Soviet hammer and sickle.

Source – The Local