Daily Archives: January 14, 2013

Verdict – Royal Navy officer ‘unlawfully killed’ in submarine shooting

Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux, who was shot dead

Father-of-four Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux was shot in the head at close range

A navy officer was unlawfully killed by a junior rating on board a nuclear submarine, a coroner has said.

Able Seaman Ryan Donovan, 23, shot Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux, 36, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, at close range on HMS Astute in Southampton.

He had been on a two-day drinking binge before the attack in April 2011.

Recording a narrative verdict, Coroner Keith Wiseman said he would recommend that random breath testing for Royal Navy personnel be implemented.

Donovan was jailed for life in September 2011 with a minimum term of 25 years after pleading guilty at Winchester Crown Court to the murder of the father-of-four.

The 23-year-old, of Hillside Road, also admitted the attempted murders of Lt Cdr Hodge, 45, Petty Officer Christopher Brown, 36, and Chief Petty Officer David McCoy, 37.

Vodka and cocktails

Mr Wiseman said a culture of drinking to excess had to stop, and a system of alcohol testing prior to duty should be introduced.

// Captain Phil Buckley said the Royal Navy had “learnt lessons”

The inquest at Southampton Civic Centre heard Donovan had drunk more than 20 pints of cider and lager over two days prior to the attack.

He had also drunk vodka and cocktails before being put on guard duty with a gun while more than three times above the alcohol limit for driving.

Tests revealed Donovan’s blood would have contained 139mg of alcohol per 100ml – 76% above the drink-drive limit.

Police investigating the murder were so concerned about binge drinking by the crew while ashore, that the senior officer wrote to Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable Alex Marshall to highlight the issue and it was passed to military authorities.

The Royal Navy has since tightened its rules on alcohol consumption before duty.

At the time sailors were allowed 10 units in 24-hours with no alcohol in the 10 hours before duty. This has now been changed to five units.

Source – BBC News

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Submariner has his long service in the Royal Navy recognised

A DEVONPORT submariner has been given an award in recognition of his long service in the Royal Navy.

Warrant Officer Jeff Griffiths has been handed the award for dedication, professionalism and leadership after concluding his 33-year career as a submariner.

 ​Warrant Officer Jeff Griffiths receives his award
Warrant Officer Jeff Griffiths receives his award

Griffiths, who left the Royal Navy in 2012, had been a key member of the team working on the UK’s strategic missile deterrent submarines. He had also been a vital part of the successful overhaul of HMS vigilant.

A veteran of the Falklands Conflict, Jeff joined the Royal Navy in 1979, working his way up to the highest non-commissioned rank.

Jeff said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed serving in the Royal Navy submarine service and I’m pleased that I will be able to continue supporting the submarine fraternity in my new civilian post.”

Captain Paul Methven, Superintendent Submarines for Royal Navy at Devonport, presented the certificate at a ceremony on Tuesday.

He praised Jeff’s outstanding service. “Jeff has made an immense contribution over many years.

“His knowledge of the systems and how to get things done is second to none and we shall miss him.”

But I’m delighted that he is remaining part of the submarine enterprise and that he’ll be able to use and pass on his experience in others in his new job”.

Source – Plymouth Herald

Russia to build 2 nuclear Borei submarines

АПЛ борей подводная лодка борей 2011 декабрь коллаж

Russia is to start building two new advanced nuclear-powered Borei class submarines before year’s end. Once complete, they will be lurking under the sea with 20 Bulava nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles each.

One of the submarines may be named Aleksandr Suvorov after one of the most decorated generals of the Russian Empire, a source in the defense industry told the media. Its construction is expected to start on July 28, which is Russian Navy Day.

The second vessel is likely to be named after Mikhail Kutuzov, the iconic Russian general of the Napoleonic Wars. Its keel is to be laid down in November.

The vessels are to be built by the shipbuilder Sevmash in Severodvinsk in the north of Russia.

Both submarines are of the Borei class, the most modern strategic nuclear-powered submarines in the Russian Navy. The lead vessel of the class, Yury Dolgoruky, officially entered service on Thursday, with two of his sister-ships currently afloat and undergoing trials.

The two new vessels are distinct from those three, being of an advanced Borei-A version of the same design. They will carry 20 nuclear ICBMs each, as opposed to 16 on the older submarines. They will also have improved maneuverability and better weapon control systems and will generate less noise.

Russia plans to build five Borei-A submarines. The first of them, Knyaz Vladimir, is already in construction.

Russia’s new submarine: arming for peace

From December 10, Russia is starting to exploit a new military submarine, called “Yuri Dolgoruky”. This is a long-standing project that had been suspended for some time. Then, the old project underwent some modifications. The new submarine has already been successfully tested. It is expected that the submarine will defend Russia’s borders.

This submarine is only a small part of Russia’s large-scale program of rearming itself with military equipment of the newest generation.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city of Severomorsk in Russia’s north, when Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu connected with him through video communication and reported that the new submarine had undergone testing and would soon be exploited.

“This is good news,” the President answered. “But this is not enough. I hope that Russia will continue to further strengthen its navy.”

“It is one of Russia’s top priorities to have a modern, well-developed nuclear navy,” Mr. Putin said. “I hope that we’ll develop both new surface-water ships and submarines. It is planned that in the next few years, Russia will build and start to exploit more than 100 new ships and submarines of various types. I have no doubts that we’ll cope with this task.”

“Yuri Dolgoruky” is a nuclear submarine of the “Borey” type, armed with ballistic missiles. It was built in the Russian city of Severodvinsk, one of Russia’s largest centers of producing nuclear military ships.

Another 3 submarines of the “Borey” type, all named after well-known personalities of old Russian history – “Alexander Nevsky”, “Vladimir Monomakh” and “Knyaz Vladimir” – are still being built. Their equipment will be mainly Russian-made, including radio electronic systems of the latest generation and unique noise reduction transducers.

At present, Russian military submarines are, as a rule, equipped with Russian-made ocean-spanning ballistic missiles “Bulava”. The range capability of such a missile is more than 8,000 kms. One submarine of the “Borey” type can be equipped with 16 “Bulava” missiles.

“It can be said that Russia’s nuclear “shield” consists of three parts – aircraft, navy and land-based missile systems,” Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko says. “Until now, from the point of view of new nuclear equipment, the Russian navy lagged behind the air and the land components of this “triad”. Now, the balance between them will be leveled.”

“The equipment of submarines of the “Borey” type allows to examine the situation under water, to trace and attack various kinds of underwater targets,” Igor Korotchenko continues. “The submarines’ systems of weapons control are also of the latest generation.”

The “Borey” submarines are also more advanced from the point of view of safety than their earlier analogues. In particular, they have a break surface camera where the submarine’s entire crew can be placed in case of emergency.

Russia is planning to build 8 such submarines in the next few years. The construction of each will cost Russia about $ 700 mln.

Speaking about plans for the more distant future, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu says that Russia will have 15 new nuclear submarines before 2012. These submarines will be of various types and meant for various purposes, but all of them will be of the latest generation.

Russian expert in military technologies Ruslan Pukhov says that it is mainly sea-based missiles that make Russia resistant to possible aggression, because land-based missile systems are more vulnerable.

By arming itself with weapons of the latest generation, Russia strengthens its feeling of safety. After all, it is hard to argue with an old saying that goes, “if you want to live in peace, always be ready for a possible war”.

Source – The Voice of Russia