Monthly Archives: April 2013

Discovered WW1 British And German Submariners Solidarity In Gosport


The personal photographs from a WW1 Royal Navy submarine commander have revealed the mutual respect he shared with his German adversary. Curators at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire discovered this story after recently taking possession of a remarkable personal photograph album from Lt Cdr Samuel Gravener, Commanding Officer of HMS E2 which included photographs of a German submariner and his family.

Ninety – eight years ago, on 29th April 1917, HMS E2 was on patrol in the Mediterranean when she sighted German U-boat UC37, who herself was about to destroy an Italian sailing ship off Marsala, Sicily.  Gravener, E2’s Commanding Officer, fired a torpedo at UC37 which hit but failed to detonate. The Officer of the Watch onboard UC37 that day was Fritz Boie.  Fourteen years later, the German submariner, Boie tracked down Gravener and sent him a letter which concluded “So I send you now my kindest regards, hoping you are still alive and well off”. That was the start of an exchange of letters and family photographs by the two former adversaries.

Bob Mealings, Curator at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum said, “This is a wonderful discovery of opposing sides uniting through their submariner experiences.”

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum recently purchased Samuel Gravener’s photograph album which included copies of the original letter and original photographs of Boie and his family, along with three contemporary crew photographs.

The photo album will be on temporary display in the Submarine Museum which is open every day to visitors and includes a visit to the historic WW2 era HMS Alliance, X24 and the Royal Navy’s very first submarine Holland1.

For more information please visit or call 023 92510354.

Source – About My Area

BAE Systems to Aid U.S. Navy in Maintaining Submarine Torpedoes

BAE Systems supports the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Division in Washington State with a range of services, helping to maintain the operational readiness of submarine torpedoes and other weapon systems. (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems supports the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Division in Washington State with a range of services, helping to maintain the operational readiness of submarine torpedoes and other weapon systems. (Photo: BAE Systems)


The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems an $80 million contract to continue providing systems engineering and other technical services to support the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport Division in Washington State. BAE Systems, along with six local subcontractors, will assist the Navy in maintaining the operational readiness of submarine torpedoes and other weapon systems.

The three-year contract, managed by Naval Sea Systems Command, builds on BAE Systems’ ongoing support of the Navy’s submarine weapons programs. For more than 30 years, the company has provided a range of services to NUWC in Keyport, Washington; Newport, Rhode Island; and Groton, Connecticut. In addition, for more than 40 years, BAE Systems has provided systems engineering and integration to the Navy’s submarine-based Strategic Systems Programs. That workforce, based in Rockville, Maryland, ensures the readiness of the Trident II fleet ballistic missile and the SSGN Attack Weapons System.

“All of these systems are critical to national defense and security,” said Kris Busch, vice president and general manager of Maritime & Defense Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our team has the experience and the expertise to continue supporting these Navy programs for many years to come.”

At the Keyport site, the BAE Systems team provides life-cycle systems support services for the Heavyweight and Lightweight Torpedo, and for information assurance and submarine towed systems. These services include engineering and technical support, performance analysis and monitoring, training, logistics, troubleshooting and problem resolution, and project management.

The team also supports tactical software systems development at Keyport, in addition to administrative, training and ammunition operations at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific in nearby Bangor, Washington.

Source – Market Watch

Source – Business Wire

Israel’s 5th Dolphin class submarine launched in north Germany

The INS Rahav submarine is seen at the dry dock at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipyard in Kiel, Germany. (file photo)

The INS Rahav submarine is seen at the dry dock at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipyard in Kiel, Germany.
Israel has launched its fifth Dolphin-class submarine, which was constructed to undertake long-range classified missions and carry missiles armed with nuclear warheads, at a shipyard in northern Germany.

The director general of Israel’s Ministry of Military Affairs, Major General Udi Shani, the commander of the Israeli navy, Rear Admiral Ram Rothberg, and a number of other Israeli and German officials attended the inauguration of the submarine at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) shipyard in Kiel Port on Monday.

The submarine, named the INS Rahav, will cost $500 million and will arrive in Israel in one year upon the completion and installation of its relevant systems. It is considered one of the most advanced submarines in the world and will be Israel’s most expensive piece of military equipment.
Israel’s first three Dolphin-class submarines are believed to be some of the most sophisticated diesel-electric submarines in the world. The fourth submarine, the INS Tanin, the first of the new generation Dolphin II submarines, was delivered in May 2012.
Germany donated the first two submarines after the first Persian Gulf War and agreed to cover a third of the cost of the third one.
In March 2012, Israel signed a contract for a sixth Dolphin-class submarine, to be delivered in a few years.
Israeli officials consider the submarines to be a critical aspect of the Israeli nuclear deterrent. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the submarines “a strong and strategic tool” for the Israeli navy.
Source – Press TV

Explore HMCS Victoria, submarine docked at Canada Place – Video Clip

The Canadian Maritime Force has four Victoria class diesel-electric submarines, formerly Upholder Class submarines of the UK Royal Navy.

The Canadian Maritime Force has four Victoria class diesel-electric submarines, formerly Upholder Class submarines of the UK Royal Navy.

Click on picture for video

HMCS VICTORIA’s displacement  is approximately 2,200 tons surfaced and 2,400 tons submerged.

Covered in  anechoic tiles to reduce her detection by active SONAR, HMCS VICTORIA is 70.3  meters long, 7.6 meters across the beam and has a deep diving depth in excess of  200 meters.

The main hull is constructed of high tensile steel sections  stiffened by circular internal frames. Equipment located outside the main hull  is covered by the Casing, which also gives the crew a safe walkway when the  submarine is surfaced.

The Fin, which helps support the masts, serves as a kind  of keel and provides a raised conning position.

HMCS VICTORIA has six torpedo  tubes and can carry up to eighteen Mark 48 Mod 4 heavyweight torpedoes for use  against surface and sub-surface targets. She is also capable of carrying  sub-harpoon missiles and laying mines.

HMCS VICTORIA’s SONAR sets allow her to  locate and track ships and other submarines “passively”, that is without  transmitting on active sonar and thus giving way her location.

HMCS VICTORIA is  fitted with RADAR for general navigation, attack and search periscopes  (incorporating video recording and thermal imaging), and an Electronic Support  Measures suite.

HMCS VICTORIA has two diesel generators, each capable of  producing up to 1,410 kilowatts, and one main motor. The generators are used to  charge two main batteries, each consisting of 240 battery cells. These batteries  are used to power the submarine, which can reach a submerged speed of up to 20  knots.

The HMCS Victoria is one of several Canadian navy vessels anchoring in  Vancouver this weekend.

The long-range hunter-killer submarine will be docked at Canada Place until  Sunday, along with the HMCS Algonquin, a destroyer.

While the Algonquin is open to the public, who can enter the ship and meet  the crew, the Victoria is not. But you can take a tour in this video.

The Victoria, decommissioned in 1994, is 70.3 meters long, 7.6 meters across  the beam, and has a deep diving depth in excess of 200 meters. It has a crew of  280. It also has six torpedo tubes and can carry up to eighteen heavyweight  torpedoes for use against surface and sub-surface targets. The Victoria is also  capable of laying mines. The submarine can reach a submerged speed of up to 20  knots.

Source – Vancouver Sun

Wife of shot submariner Ian Molyneux accepts Elizabeth Cross – Video Clip

 Click on picture for video clip

Gillian Molyneux says Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux would have wanted to “protect” his fellow submariners when he was shot.

The widow of a naval officer who was shot dead by a junior rating on board a nuclear submarine has been awarded a medal to mark her loss.

Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux was killed by Able Seaman Ryan Donovan while HMS Astute was docked in Southampton in 2011.

Gillian Molyneux was given the Elizabeth Cross, which is awarded to servicemen’s next-of-kin and women killed on duty, at a ceremony in Wigan.

She said it was a “recognition” of what she and her four children had lost.

Mrs Molyneux, who lives in Standish, said the medal was one “no next-of-kin ever wishes to receive” but it recognised her family lost “through Ian’s dedication to the Royal Navy, Queen and country”.

“I lost my soul mate when Ian died and our children lost a wonderful daddy,” she said.

“I will always take great pride in my husband, his heroic actions on the day of his death and the submarine service and all it stands for.”

She added she was accepting the medal “with deep sorrow and immense pride”.

‘Incalculably brave’

Mrs Molyneux, who wore the posthumous George Medal awarded to her husband during the ceremony, was presented with the medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester at Wigan Town Hall.

Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux
Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux was posthumously awarded the George Medal for his actions on board HMS Astute


During the ceremony, Regional Naval Cdr Commodore Dickie Baum said Lt Cdr Molyneux had been one of the Navy’s brightest prospects and a role model to future submariners.

“At all times he set an example, displaying his high moral standards and leadership,” he said.

“It was typical that when a crisis arose in HMS Astute involving an armed sailor who had begun shooting indiscriminately for reasons that have never been fully explained, Ian was the first to react to the noise and commotion.

“Ian acted with complete disregard for his own safety and made the ultimate sacrifice – his actions were incalculably brave.”

Ryan Donovan admitted murdering Lt Cdr Molyneux and was jailed for life at Winchester Crown Court in September 2011.

Source – BBC News

Quebec museum saves Cold-War submarine from the scrap heap


Just one step inside a unique museum at this St. Lawrence River port and that’s enough for some visitors.

That first step inside gives an immediate impression of what this museum is all about and that’s enough to make some people back out. Other visitors come with a toothbrush, their jammies and the excitement of staying overnight.

Both types of visitors learn what it is like to live and work in a submarine.

HMCS Onondaga patrolled below the North Atlantic for 36 years for the Canadian Navy and there was no life like it for the 70-man crew.

That's museum guide Alberic Gallant looking very much the role of a grizzled submariner at the back amidst ithe sub's diesel engines.

The museum guide Alberic Gallant looking very much the role of a grizzled submariner at the back amidst ithe sub’s diesel engines.

Now the general public can come aboard and experience that same life below the waves. The sub no longer dives below the surface. It has been hauled up on the south shore of The St. Lawrence River. But once those watertight doors are closed, you wouldn’t know the difference.

The Canadian Navy retired Onondaga in 2000 and planned to cut the sub into a half dozen pieces in Halifax, truck it up to Ottawa’s Canadian War Museum and stitch it back together again. The navy’s bean counters said that was too expensive and instead the submarine was to be sold for $60,000 as scrap metal.

But the people who operate a maritime museum in Rimouski decided one of the few Canadian vessels remaining from the Cold War should not end up as razor blades or subway rails.

They managed to put together nearly $5 million to buy the sub and tow it to Rimouski. It was one of the most harrowing voyages this sub ever made.  It had to ride out several late fall storms, which in its active days it would simply duck under.

The last 50 metres were the most dangerous. It rolled on its side as it road on a makeshift dolly up onto the beach.

But Rimouski seafarers have been handling ships since Champlain sailed by in 1608 and they were able to get Onondaga righted and secure its permanent berth.

Volunteers spent a cold winter inside the sub making it ship shape to open as Canada’s only submarine museum.

Visitors can wander through the vessel in 45 minutes escorted by dosun Alberic Gallant, who looks exactly what you’d expect a submariner to look like – but he’s an actor.

Or you can get a deeper impression of what it is like at sea in a sub by spending a night aboard. The overnight visitors duplicate the workday of a submariner.  They track surface ships by radar and sonar, they peer through the telescope at passing ships, or just check on their car in the parking lot.

One of the exercises includes learning how to escape a sub that is sitting incapacitated on the bottom – in water less than 1,000 feet deep.  Visitors wrestle their way into a survival suit, but they’re not required to climb into a tight chamber, inflate their suit with air, flood the chamber and then shoot up like a helium balloon to the surface.

Maurice Allard has done that during his 17 years as a Canadian Navy submariner, including six years on the Onondaga. Fortunately, he only had to do it in training sessions in Hawaii and in the Mediterranean.

Allard helped bring his former sub to Rimouski, worked on its restoration and he sits on the board of directors of the Pointe-au-Pere Maritime Museum.

He can tell stories about sitting quietly below Soviet spy ships stationed off the coast of Northern Ireland and going without hot food to avoid making any noise.

Sailors with claustrophobia didn’t go to sea in subs and visitors with the same affliction likely won’t roam through this museum. If you choose to stay overnight all the conversation and instructions are in French – plus, try to get a bunk amidst the torpedoes in the forward torpedo room. It’s the most spacious area in the vessel.

The Onondaga is the latest addition to Rimouski’s Pointe-au-Pere Maritime Museum.

Source – Canada dot com

Royal Navy submarine HMS Alliance restoration under way – Video Clip


The restoration of a World War II submarine is expected to be completed next year.

HMS Alliance, based at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire, is undergoing a £6.75m revamp.

The project, which was awarded £3.4m by the Heritage Lottery Fund, still has a shortfall of £200,000 and efforts continue to raise the cash.

Work on the 1940s submarine, which will be a memorial to 5,300 British submariners who gave their lives in service between 1904 and the present day, started in October 2011 and expected to finish in



HMS Alliance is a Royal Navy A-class, Amphion-class or Acheron-class submarine, laid down towards the end of the Second World War and completed in 1947. The submarine is the only surviving example of the class, having been a memorial and museum ship since 1981.

The Amphion-class submarines were designed for use in the Far East, where the size of the Pacific Ocean made long range, high surface speed and relative comfort for the crew important features to allow for much larger patrol areas and longer periods at sea than British submarines operating in the Atlantic or Mediterranean had to contend with. Alliance was one of the seven A-class boats completed with a snort mast – the other boats all had masts fitted by 1949.


From 9 October 1947 until 8 November the submarine undertook a lengthy experimental cruise in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa to investigate the limits of the snort mast, remaining submerged for 30 days.

Between 1958 and 1960 Alliance was extensively modernised by having the deck gun and external torpedo tubes removed, the hull streamlined and the sail replaced with a larger (26 feet 6 inch high), more streamlined one constructed of aluminium. The purpose of these modifications was to make the submarine quieter and faster underwater. Following the modifications the wireless transmitting aerial was supported on a frame behind the sail; but was later replaced with a whip aerial on the starboard side of the fin which could be rotated hydraulically to a horizontal position.

The original gun access hatch was retained however, allowing Alliance to be equipped with a small calibre deck gun again when serving in the Far East during the Indonesian Confrontation of the earlier 1960s.

In May 1961 the pennant numbers of British submarines were changed so that all surviving submarines completed after the Second World War were now numbered from S01 upwards, and Alliance was given the number S67.

On or around 30 September 1971 a fatal battery explosion occurred on board, whilst at Portland.

From 1973 until 1979 she was the static training boat at the HMS Dolphin shore establishment, replacing HMS Tabard in this role. In August 1979, she was towed to Vosper Ship Repairers Limited’s yard at Southampton to have her keel strengthened so that she could be lifted out of the water and preserved as a memorial to those British submariners who have died in service. Since 1981 the submarine has been a museum ship, raised out of the water and on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport.

Damage to the stern of Alliance in 2008


Although listed on the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, in recent years as many as 100 pigeons have been nesting in the submarine, causing extensive corrosive damage. She also sits on cradles over sea water, adding to problems of corrosion and preventing easy and economical maintenance to her exterior. Urgent restoration work is required to save the boat, and a major restoration program is underway, which includes reclaiming land beneath HMS Alliance using a cofferdam and backfill. This will also provide easy access for future maintenance and new viewing platforms for visitors, additionally opening up the conning tower and casing. A new HMS Alliance gallery is also part of the project to help ensure visitors fully appreciate the significance of this submarine and what she represents. It was announced on 30 May 2011 that HMS Alliance would share in a £11 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Alliance will receive £3.4 million to repair her bow and stern and address extensive surface corrosion.

HMS Alliance on display at Royal Navy Submarine Museum
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Ordered: 1943 Emergency war programme
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 13 March 1945
Launched: 28 July 1945
Commissioned: 14 May 1947
Decommissioned: 1973, static training boat until August 1979
Identification: Pennant number: P147 (S67 from 1961)
Fate: Museum ship/memorial since 1981 at Royal Navy Submarine Museum
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,360/1,590 tons (surface/submerged) 1,385/1,620 tons after streamlining
Length: 281 ft 4.75 in (85.7695 m)
Beam: 22 ft 3 in (6.78 m)
Draught: 17 ft (5.2 m)
Propulsion: Two 2,150 hp (at 450 rpm) supercharged Vickers 8-cylinder diesel engine, Two 625 hp electric motors for use underwater, driving two shafts
Speed: 18.5/8 knots (surface/submerged) 18.5/10 knots after streamlining
Range: 10,500 nautical miles (19,400 km) at 11 knots (20 km/h) surfaced 16 nautical miles (30 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) submerged 90 nautical miles (170 km) at 3 knots (6 km/h) submerged
Endurance: 36 hours submerged at 2.5 knots
Test depth: 500 ft (150 m)
Complement: 5 officers, 56 ratings (63 ratings after modernisation in 1960)
Armament: Six 21-inch bow torpedo tubes (including 2 external dry close fit) Four 21-inch stern torpedo tubes (including 2 external dry close fit) 20 torpedoes carried (externals could not be reloaded at sea) Mark V mines could be launched from the internal tubes External tubes removed during streamlining/modernisation. One QF 4 inch Mark XXIII deck gun on S2 mounting One 20 mm AA Oerlikon 20 mm gun on Mark VII mounting Submarine was briefly fitted with a twin Oerlikon on Mark 12A mounting. All guns removed during streamlining/modernisation.

Source – BBC News, Wikipedia, Youtube


Devonport RN chief retires after 37 years

The head of the Royal Navy’s fleet in the South West retired this week saying while the service was smaller it was “more committed, more professional and effective”.

Commodore Jake Moores, commander of the Devonport flotilla’s 21 ships and submarines at Plymouth, stood down with his flotilla busy operating around the world.

 ​Commodore Jake Moores on submarine HMS Tireless on his final day as head of Royal Navy in the South West
Commodore Jake Moores on submarine HMS Tireless on his final day as head of Royal Navy in the South West


“I have finally come to terms with leaving the Navy after 37 years,” Commodore Moores, a former submarine commander, said. “I have seen great change in my time. I leave it in better shape.

“The Navy is smaller now, but it is more committed, more professional and effective. There are fewer ships, but they are more capable with more armaments, such as the amazing Type 45 destroyers.

 “I am proud to say Devonport flotilla is playing a strategically important role throughout the world – as I speak in the Middle East and the Atlantic. My focus has been there because of this presence.

“The future is very healthy too with the Astute class submarines proving already to have the potential to be hugely capable for years to come. I have seen HMS Astute operating at sea and was very impressed.”

A former commanding officer of the Royal Navy’s officer training school, Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, Commodore Moores was also the first captain of the nuclear-armed submarine HMS Vanguard following its refit in Plymouth.

Source – This is Cornwall

Spain – Navantia overhaul of submarine almost complete

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has floated the Spanish navy’s S-73 submarine, the Mistral, after finishing 80 percent of its dry dock overhaul.

Dry dock work on the vessel is being conducted at the company’s shipyard in Cartagena and, when completed, will give the submarine another five years of service life.

The S-73 is a diesel-powered vessel with a surface speed of 12 knots and a submerged speed 10.5 knots. It entered service with the Spanish navy in 1977.

The dry dock overhaul involved dismantling the submarine, replacing components and equipment in poor condition and then reassembling the vessel. Navantia said more than 15,000 pieces of equipment were removed and inspected, as well as its hull.

Mistral is docked at the shipyard for the remainder of the overhaul, which includes completion of assembly and testing at port and at sea.

The vessel is scheduled to be returned to the Spanish Navy in September, Navantia said.

Mistral is one of four Spainish Naval, S-70 “Agosta Class” submarines .

built by Cartagena dockyard

  • Galerna (S 71) – completed 1983 – in service
  • Siroco (S 72) – completed 1983 – decommissioned 2012
  • Mistral (S 73) – completed 1985 – in service
  • Tramontana (S 74) – completed 1985 – in service

Source –

Source – Wikipedia

Two North Korean Submarines Allegedly Missing – Video Clip

Mini Submarines at Pipa Got Naval Base, North Korea

Two North Korean submarines have reportedly disappeared from  port. Although the subs were last seen at a naval base in the Hwanghae Province  in early April, the news is just now filtering out to media outlets. While the  capability of North Korea to shoot a long-range missile at the United States has  largely been nixed during press conference about EMP attack threats, the possibility of a missile attack from  a submarine has rarely been mentioned.

The thought of missing North Korean subs aiming a missile at a coastal city  is causing concern for some Americans. While any coastal city could become a  target, some analysts think California is a very likely location. If North Korea  shot a missile along the coast of the state, some feel than an earthquake could  occur and allow the attack to go largely undetected – at least for a time.

North Korea also allegedly bought 1,452 pounds of silver from China. Some  researchers believe the silver was purchased to use for batteries on the Sang-O  (Shark) mini-subs. Generals in the North Korean Navy allegedly feel the Shark  submarines are viable weapons which could be used against both America and South  Korea. The Sang-O submarines are typically considered coastal submarines. The  subs can reportedly carry at least 15 crew members and a dozen scuba  commandos.

While many Americans might believe that a missing North Korean submarine  trolling the coast would quickly be detected, that may not necessarily be the  case. During a recent discussion about the EMP Commission, Dr. William Forstchen  highlighted just how real the possibility is for an EMP attack from a cargo ship or a submarine.

In 2012, a Russian boomer went unnoticed for nearly a month in US waters on  the Gulf of Mexico. The nuclear-powered submarine sighting was not the only such  occurrence in recent history. In 2009, another Russian submarine patrolled very  close to the United States. The incident happened about the same time as Russian  bombers were spotted in restricted airspace near Alaska and  California.

Dr. Forstchen, a North Carolina college professor said just how woefully unprepared America is for an EMP attack. The  professor wrote the bestselling novel One Second  After. The book details the chaos which occurred in a small town after  an EMP attack. His research was cited on the floor of Congress during  discussions about EMP threats and the vulnerability of the power grid.

As the renowned professor so aptly noted, life as we know it would end  without a functioning power grid. The nation’s electrical systems could be  repaired, but most of the necessary components are made in China. The time frame  to repair a downed power grid is a hotly disputed topic, but a quick flip of the  switch after a visit to the storage room would not be a possibility. Many  experts feel that it would take months, if not years, to get the overly-taxed

The bestselling author also pointed out the many ways a downed power grid  would increase the EMP attack death toll sooner rather than later. The most  obvious and immediate impact would involve the thousands of Americans who would  perish when planes near the EMP zone would fall from the sky.

Without power, hospitals with still-functioning generators would not be able  to keep patients alive after they run out of stored fuel. Grocery stores would  reportedly have only empty shelves after about three days, leaving those without  a garden or ability to hunt or fish with very empty stomachs. Civil unrest would  also cause an unthinkable amount of deaths, according to Dr. Forstchen.

The EMP Commission was established under a Republican-controlled  Congress in 2001. The commission was re-established under a Democratic majority  in 2006. The EMP preparedness commission was disbanded in 2008. EMPact America  is an outspoken advocate for re-convening the Congressional commission to  further preparedness efforts.

How concerned are you about the missing North Korea missing submarines and  the possibility of a downed power grid?

Source – The Inquisitr