Daily Archives: December 19, 2012

HMS Astute Escapex 2012

CPO Ian (Curly) Callow

CPO Ian (Curly) Callow


Located in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, Lochgoilhead sits at the head of Loch Goil, a fjord type sea loch. On a cold winter morning in Loch goil the staff of the Submarine Escape Training Tank situated in Gosport prepare to conduct a Hooded ascent from HMS Astute. The date is the 14th December 2012 and the crew of HMS Astute prepare to dive to a predetermined depth (27.9 metres). HMS Astute is a nuclear powered submarine that has a reliable and effective escape system fitted onboard. Astute is fitted with a two man escape tower (Logistic Escape Tower) aft and an FET (Forard Escape Tower) forard. SETT staff and members of the crew from HMS Vigilant successfully escaped from an LET in 2003, nobody had ever escaped from an FET and the purpose of these trials were to prove the escape system onboard HMS Astute.

Equipment The SEIE (Submarine Escape Immersion Equipment).

The process Each escapee will zip down their hood fully, climb into the tower and the lower lid will be shut by the support team within the submarine. When the escapee is ready he will plug his suit into the air supply, this air will provide a continuos supply of air to breath and also provide the buoyancy within the suit that will enable the escapee to reach the surface safely. The escapee must remain plugged into the air supply whilst the tower is flooded and continue to equalise his ears with the increasing pressure rise. When the pressure within the tower is equal with the external sea pressure the upper lid will open and the escapee will start his ascent to the surface. During the ascent the escapee will continue to breath normally all the way to the surface.

Runs conducted during the trial 12 straight runs A single person will enter the tower, all valve movements will be controlled by the crew from within the submarine.

 4 last man out A single person will enter the tower, all valve movements will be controlled by the escapee from within the tower.

Water Temperature 11°C @ 30 metres / 4°C @ Surface Air Temperature 3°C / Wind chill factor -8°C


Lt Cdr Tregunna Lt Ziolo Coxn Hiles Po Ross
CPO Callow CPO Bean CPO Douglas PO Yarnold
CPO Whittaker CPO Charlesworth CPO Stevenson

Support staff

WO Harvey CPO Spanner LET Coombes
POMA Organ LMA Mason LMA Petter
WO Duncan

Source – Astute Escapex

Dutch Naval Submarine arrives in Canary Wharf


Click here or on the picture for a video clip of HM Bruinvis in London

A Dutch naval submarine will be moored in the waters of South Quay until Friday, as troops enjoy a good will mission.
Police confirmed that the Walrus-class vessel, named HM Bruinvis, was holding a medal ceremony today, Wednesday, and arrived at its temporary home yesterday.

It will remain until the early hours of Friday morning.
A spokesperson for Canary Wharf Group said: “It has been 15 years since we have had a submarine here, so it is quite rare.
“We do get naval vessels from time-to-time but it is unusual to get a submarine.”

Source – Wharf

Iran to Equip IRGC with New Types of Submarines

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that the country plans to equip the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval force with new submarines.

“Production of different types of submarines are on our agenda and naturally they will be delivered to the IRGC whenever they reach their final phase,” Vahidi told FNA on Wednesday, adding that the ministry plans to equip the IRGC Navy with its new home-made submarines.

As regards the features and specifications of the new submarines, Vahidi said, “These submarines will be in models other than Qadir (light submarines) and their production and delivery to the IRGC are underway.”

He said that Iran is producing military tools based on its doctrine of asymmetric defense.

Last month, Iran boosted its naval power in Persian Gulf waters after a new missile launching vessel and two light submarines joined its Navy fleet.

During the ceremony attended by Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, two Qadir-class light submarines also joined the Iranian naval fleet.

All parts of the Qadir-class submarines, including the hull, radar equipment and advanced defense systems, have been made domestically.

The submarines are appropriate vessels for different naval missions, including reconnaissance and combat in territorial waters, specially in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz which are not wide enough for the maneuvering of large warships and submarines.

Source – Fars News Agency

It’s Quiet Out There, Too Quiet


The U.S. Navy continues to debate the issue of just how effective non-nuclear submarines would be in wartime, and whether the U.S. should buy some of these non-nuclear boats itself.

This radical proposal is based on two compelling factors. First, the U.S. Navy may not get enough money to maintain a force of 40-50 SSNs (attack subs.) Second, the quietness of modern diesel-electric boats puts nuclear subs at a serious disadvantage, especially in coastal waters. With modern passive sensors, a submerged diesel-electric sub is often the best weapon for finding and destroying other diesel-electric boats.

While the nuclear sub is the most effective high seas vessel, especially if you have worldwide responsibilities and these nukes would have to quickly move long distances to get to the troubled waters, the diesel electric boat, operating on batteries in coastal waters, is quieter and harder to find.

There are 39 nations operating a total of 400 diesel electric subs. Only three of these nations (China, Iran, North Korea) are likely to use their subs against the U.S. or its allies. China has fifty of these boats, Iran has three (plus 25 much smaller mini-subs) and North Korea has 20 (plus 50 much smaller mini-subs). So the U.S. has to worry about 73 diesel electric subs and 75 mini-subs. But about half the full size subs are elderly, obsolete and noisy. The same can be said for at least half the mini-subs. That leaves about 36 full size subs and 40 mini-subs that are a clear threat (and the older stuff can be a threat if you get sloppy.) That’s a lot of subs, and they make the East Asian coast and the Persian Gulf dangerous places for American warships.

For much of the past decade the U.S. Navy has been trying to get an idea of just how bad the threat it. Thus from 2005 to 2007 the United States leased a Swedish sub (Sweden only has five subs in service), and its crew, to help American anti-submarine forces get a better idea of what they were up against. This Swedish boat was a “worst case” scenario, an approach that is preferred for training. The Gotland class Swedish subs involved are small (1,500 tons, 64.5 meters/200 feet long) and have a crew of only 25. The Gotland was based in San Diego, along with three dozen civilian technicians to help with maintenance.

For many years before the Gotland arrived, the U.S. Navy had trained against Australian diesel-electric subs, and often came out second. The Gotland has one advantage over the Australian boats, because of its AIP system (which allows it to stay under water, silently, for several weeks at a time). Thus the Gotland is something of a worst case in terms of what American surface ships and submarines might have to face in a future naval war. None of America’s most likely naval opponents (China, North Korea or Iran), have AIP boats yet, but they do have plenty of diesel-electric subs which, in the hands of skilled crews, can be pretty deadly.

Based on the experience with Australian and Swedish subs, the U.S. Navy has been developing new anti-submarine tactics and equipment. All this is done in secret, obviously. But apparently the modern, quiet diesel electric boats continue to be a major threat to U.S. surface warships and subs. Meanwhile, potential enemies build more of their cheaper and higher quality, diesel-electric boats, and train their crews by having them stalk actual warships (including U.S. ones.) The subs are getting more numerous, while U.S. defenses are limping along because of the sheer technical problems of finding quiet diesel-electric boats in coastal waters.

One reason China wants to keep American naval forces out of their economic zone (which does not bar foreign warships) is so that Chinese diesel electric subs can train without being stalked by American subs, surface ships and aircraft looking for realistic practice tracking Chinese boats. At the same time the U.S. Navy has lost the full use of its most effective underwater anti-submarine training area (a well mapped and instrumented area off southern California) because environmentalist activists have convinced judges that the use of active sonar in this training area is harmful to some species of aquatic animals.

Moreover, the North Korean and Iranian fleets (and governments) are in decline while China is pouring more cash into their armed forces. If there’s any diesel-electric boats the U.S. Navy has to be extremely concerned about, it’s the Chinese. While China continues to try and develop world class nuclear subs, they are also moving head in creating world class diesel electric boats.

Source – Strategy page


Submarine USS San Francisco leaves on deployment

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. US Navy

The fast attack submarine San Francisco left Point Loma Tuesday for a six-month deployment to the western Pacific, says the Navy. The boat, commissioned 31 years ago, went to sea with a crew of roughly 140 sailors. The Navy said San Francisco’s mission involves “maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and power projection.”

The San Francisco has been homeported here since 2009. The boat was moved to Point Loma after it underwent a bow replacement that became necessary after the San Francisco slammed into an underwater seamount more than 400 miles southwest of Guam in 2005.

San Francisco is one of six Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarines homeported at Point Loma. One of those boats, the Topeka, just arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine for a three year overhaul. Earlier this year, Topeka completed a 35,000 mile mission in the western Pacific.

Northrop’s X-47B drone shot into air via ground-to-flight catapult

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The Topeka arrives at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. US Navy

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The Point Loma-based Jefferson City underway recently. US Navy

Source – UT San Diego