Monthly Archives: September 2013

UK CHESTERFIELD: Tributes paid to tragic Submariner aged 22

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The heartbroken family of a young sailor who died in a motorbike smash while on leave have honoured “a wonderful young man who served his country.”

Royal Navy submariner, Christopher Payne, 22, was killed instantly in the crash on the B6179 Derby Road near Coxbench on September 5, after failing to negotiate a bend near the A38 bridge.

Christopher, a marine engineering technician, had just returned home from his post on the HMS Triumph in Plymouth that day.

Fighting back tears, his dad Dean Payne, said: “I am so proud of my son and what he achieved in life. I am proud of the job that his mother Debbie and I did in raising him to turn out to be such a wonderful young man.

“He served his country and would have gone on to serve his country many times more.”

Hundreds of mourners descended on Brimington Crematorium last Thursday to pay tributes to Christopher – known as Max to his fellow sailors – as he was honoured with a full military funeral.

Amongst them were more than 60 members of the Royal Navy who were able to attend en masse because of a fault with the submarine that delayed their launch.

His uncle, Keith Lee, said: “He was very well thought of. They are a close knit family on the HMS Triumph. They have lost one of their own just as much as us.”

He described his nephew – a lifelong Spireite – as a typical teenager with a cheeky grin, who always looked out for his younger sister, Danielle, 19.

“He was very protective of her” said Keith. “She is absolutely devastated. She has lost her right arm.”

Dean added: “From the moment she was born he looked after her and he was still looking after her until he died.”

Christopher, who was born in Spital and divided his time between Brimington and Holbrook while on leave, will be remembered by a signed Chesterfield FC shirt donated by the club, to hang in the HMS Triumph.

Chesterfield FC Community Trust director John Croot: “It was an honour to hand over a signed shirt to Christopher Payne’s colleagues from HMS Triumph. It is nice to think that the shirt, once it is framed and hung up on a wall aboard the submarine, will provide them with a permanent reminder of Christopher.”

Chris Brownley, fellow submariner, said: “A lot of the lads are finding it quite hard without him, and we are all finding it hard to concentrate.

“He always had a smile on his face, always a cheeky grin. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He would always help out.”

Source – Derbyshire Times

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Aus – Collins one of the most capable conventional submarines

THE navy has defended its troubled Collins-class submarines, saying it had to identify properly all of their faults in a report to help determine whether their service life could be extended.

Defence said the Collins remained one of the most capable conventional submarines in the world despite a report, revealed in The Australian this week, that found 68 critical faults that could force the boats into early retirement.

The report by the Defence Materiel Organisation late last year found hopes of extending the life of the six Collins submarines until the 2030s when new submarines could be built would be “unachievable” unless urgent action was taken to fix major systems faults aboard each boat.It revealed that the submarines were getting hotter, heavier and noisier each year and detailed flaws in the diesel engines, command and control systems, periscopes, sonars and other key systems and equipment.

This contrasted with the sanitised public summary of the report given by the former Labor government that focused on a single sentence in the report saying that there was “no single technical issue” which would prevent the service life of the boats being extended.The report’s findings have left the new Coalition government with difficult choices about whether to attempt to extend the life of the submarine fleet or purchase or lease smaller submarines as an interim measure to ensure Australia continues to have submarines to defend it into the early 2030s.

Defence said the submarines were subject to a rigorous safety and certification system and were operated by a dedicated and well-trained team of officers and sailors.It said The Australian’s articles were based on “an internal report prepared by the Defence Materiel Organisation which examined the feasibility of extending the life of the Collins-class submarine”.

“The purpose of the report was to identify potential issues and risks that would need to be addressed to extend the life of the class,” Defence said.”This is a common and normal process to be followed if consideration is being given to the life-extension of any system. It was always expected that the report would identify systems that would require attention should a life-extension be required.”Defence said many of these were already known and some were being addressed in planned upgrades or through continuous improvement programs.”As with any risk analysis, a risk must first be identified before it can be assessed and determined whether controls will need to be put in place to manage the risk,” it said.Defence said there had been “significant improvement” in submarine availability over the past 15 months. It said its submarines were “busy operating domestically and as far afield as conducting exercises in Japan and Hawaii”.

“This is a testament to the hard work being conducted by all members of the submarine enterprise involved in the sustainment of the Collins-class submarine,” it said. The DMO report made it clear that any plan to extend the life of the Collins fleet would be high risk.

Source – The Australian

‘When the torpedoes hit the German U-boat it was the biggest bang I’d ever heard’

Warrenby submariner Bill Anderton recalls his wartime experiences under Arctic seas after memorial service at Scottish base

Former Royal Navy submariner Bill Anderton
Former Royal Navy submariner Bill Anderton

Listening intently, submarine sonar operator Bill Anderton knew he’d picked up an enemy vessel.

On joining the Royal Navy in 1942, the Warrenby lad was originally attracted to serving on submarines because it offered an extra three and sixpence a day.

But two years later, deep in icy waters west of the Norwegian town of Narvik, money was the last thing on the 21-year-old Teessider’s mind – he was putting his training into lethal action.

The vessel Bill detected on June 15, 1944 was German enemy submarine U-987. His intensive training back at Gosport in Hampshire meant he knew what a U-boat sounded like.

And soon after he raised the alarm, the submarine he served on, HMS Satyr, was sending torpedoes hurtling away to successfully sink their target.

 

Using intelligence supplied by Bletchley Park codebreakers and brave Norwegian coastwatchers, Bill and the 35-strong Satyr crew patrolled far into the Arctic Ocean to protect vital Allied supply convoys from marauding U-boats and warships. And it was during one of these highly dangerous patrols in June 1944 that Satyr intercepted the U-987.

Memories of his time on Satyr came flooding back for Bill recently when he attended a memorial service in Dundee – home of HMS Ambrose, his submarine’s home base. Each year, a service is held at the city’s memorial to honour the 296 submariners and commandos from HMS Ambrose who are “Still on Patrol” – in other words, the ones who never came back from their often perilous missions.

Bill, of The Avenue, Redcar, is the last surviving member of HMS Satyr’s wartime crew, so it was fitting that he and 89-year-old Robert Gilfillan of Erskine, Scotland – the last crew member from another Ambrose vesel, HMS Sceptre – were special guests at the annual service.

And while Satyr had other wartime skirmishes, including the sinking of Norwegian merchant ship Nordnorge and unsuccessful attempts to sink German merchant vessels in August 1944, the attack on U-987 is always the mission that comes to mind.

Bill, 90, recalled: “I would sit for four hours at a time, earphones on, listening for whatever was out there. As soon as I heard anything, I reported it to the officer on the watch and they would go to action stations. It was in the Arctic in July and in broad daylight. We did two hours diving and two hours on the surface, although we were below when we detected the submarine.

“They fired six torpedoes – two ahead, two to hit and two back in case they altered course. When they hit the U-boat, everyone gave a big cheer – it was the biggest bang I’d ever heard.

“The skipper raised the periscope and everyone had a look. When we got to it, there was just the bow and stern sticking out of the water.”

Bill carried out 10 patrols on the Satyr – two in the Bay of Biscay and the rest off the coast of Norway. He left the Navy in March 1946, returning to a job in the steelworks.

But all these years later, his annual trip to Dundee remains special to him.

He explained: “I like to pay my respects to the ones who didn’t come back.”

Source – Gazette Live

Development of China’s fourth-generation nuclear submarine completed

Hong Kong media prattle about China's fourth generation nuclear submarines: MHD propulsion Speed ​​100

Chinese navy next 096 strategic missile submarines

At the recent 2013 Four Northeastern Provinces Cooperation Leaders’ Conference held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, Tan Zuojun, vice governor of Liaoning Province and former general manager of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, revealed that development of China’s fourth-generation nuclear submarines and other high-tech weapons and items of equipment in the Northeastern Provinces of China had been completed. The news attracted considerable attention.

The fourth generation nuclear submarine features high performance and low noise

Military expert Du Wenlong pointed out that the main characteristic of the fourth generation nuclear submarine would be its high performance. Compared with earlier submarines, modern attack submarines differ significantly in offensive power, possessing both anti-submarine capabilities and also strong potential for anti-ship action and attacks on land-based targets. He pointed out that the fourth generation nuclear submarines of the United States and Russia already have these capabilities; China’s fourth-generation nuclear submarines too will be equipped with the appropriate torpedoes, along with missiles suitable for use against other sea-going or land-based targets. In addition, the Chinese submarine will have low noise output, a key indicator for measuring a modern nuclear submarine’s underwater survival capacity, as well as its ability to remain hidden during maneuvers, or undetected while launching an attack. He pointed out that the fourth-generation nuclear submarine will possess effective noise damping features, such as a quieter nuclear power plant with less vibration, and a more advanced hull muffler system, so that it will be difficult to detect even if within range of enemy sonar.

On the question when the fourth-generation nuclear submarine will enter service, Du Wenlong said that completion of development and completion of construction are two different phases – the cycle from completion of development to manufacturing, and then to fitting out and launch, can be very long, perhaps several years. Progress is determined by two factors: one is technical indicators, and the other is strategic need.

A significant enhancement of nuclear counterattack capability

Analysts believe that continual development of attack submarines and strategic nuclear submarines at times of peace, adding better performance and greater combat ability, can enhance strategic deterrence capability. China’s strategic nuclear forces are weapons to deter third parties from becoming involved in local conflicts. China firmly adheres to the principle of non-first use of nuclear weapons, but the existence of strategic nuclear submarines will give China a stronger voice and more room for maneuver in the case of any crisis. In addition, Song Xiaojun points out that the United States, Russia, Britain and France all possess modern strategic nuclear submarines as a symbol of their status as ‘Great Powers’; it is natural that China should be unwilling to lag behind.
Source – English People Daily

 

UK – Celebration for BAE Systems Barrow submarine’s christening

THE latest super sub to be built in Barrow has been christened during a dramatic naming ceremony.

Artful, the third Astute-class submarine, is set to take its first dip into the water at the beginning of next year, and yesterday, Royal Navy bosses, local dignitaries and cadets poured inside the Devonshire Dock Hall to witness the boat’s naming ceremony.

A small section of the hall was cordoned off with black and white voile curtains, with glimpses of the submarine visible from behind. As the ceremony began, the curtains fell one by one, to reveal the 7,400-tonne boat.

The naming was carried out by Amanda Lady Zambellas, wife of the Royal Navy’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas.

The symbolic smashing of a bottle of beer against the boat’s bow drew some gasps from the crowds as it failed to smash on the first attempt.

According to naval folklore, if the bottle fails to smash, the ship will be destined for an unlucky life at sea.

However, John Hudson, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines in Barrow, was not concerned.

“I’m not at all superstitious,” he said smiling.

The 97-metre long submarine will be followed by a further four boats and preparation is continuing for the Royal Navy’s next fleet of submarines – a replacement for the Vanguard boats.

A final decision – known as “Main Gate” – is due to be made after the next general election, and both Mr Hudson and Rear Admiral Simon Lister are confident about the Successor programme.

Rear Admiral Lister, who visits the shipyard three times a month to monitor progress of the Astute programme, told the Evening Mail: “I am confident we will make a good proposal for Successor.

“We look forward to going to Main Gate and the final decision.”

Those who attended the ceremony, including many of the shipyard’s 5,000 workers, were treated to a performance by Ulverston Victoria High School’s Big Band.

Laughs were drawn from the crowd during a comical and staged discussion between two of the band’s singers, when one said to the other: “So I won’t tell anyone you’re a Russian spy!”

Many of the engineers, welders and technicians who have been involved in Artful’s build were able to watch the ceremony.

The creature on the boat’s crest, chosen in 1945 by the Admiralty’s advisor on heraldry for the first Artful, is  an unspecified species of primate.

Artful crew member Lieutenant  Aaron Williams, 24, from Bradford, explained: “When I did a little research into the crest, I found out that it was chosen to represent the quality of artfulness, monkeys having the reputation of being clever and resourceful creatures.”

Source – North West Evening Mail

Ohio-Class Ballistic Submarine Remains Priority for US Navy

The Navy views the Ohio-class replacement ballistic missile submarine as its top priority, indicating it would be prepared to slash other ship programs to build the 12 submarines it needs.

Senior congressional aides noted that the Navy would consider reducing its 11-aircraft carrier fleet before it would scale back its plans to replace the Ohio-class ballistic submarine.

The reasons, according to the Navy, include the central role the ballistic missile submarines play as the most survivable part of nuclear deterrent force, the aging of the existing ballistic submarine fleet, and a need to keep a healthy industrial base.

“We are committed to sustaining a two-ocean national strategic deterrent that protects our homeland from nuclear attack, from other major war aggression and also access and extended deterrent for our allies,” said Rear Adm. Richard P. Breckenridge, director of the Navy’s Undersea Warfare Division.

To provide a viable deterrent of 10 forward-deployed submarines in the Atlantic and Pacific, the Navy requires at least 12 submarines at any given time.

“If we don’t build these 12 [ballistic missile submarines] on this timeline … that’s just [an] astronomical challenge for us to be able to maintain our vibrant and credible two-ocean deterrent — to deter bad behavior from powerful adversaries,” he told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces last week.

As a result of budget challenges last year, the Ohio-class replacement program was delayed two years.

“It, to me, is mind-staggering how much risk as a nation that we’ve taken with regard to this recapitalization timing decision,” Breckenridge said. “There is no allowance for any further delay.”

The Navy once had 18 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. At Congress’ direction, four of those submarines were converted to cruise-missile-carrying submarines, leaving 14 ballistic missile subs.

Since then, the Navy decided on a plan to replace those 14 submarines with 12 of the new ballistic missile submarines. The last time Congress started to buy a ballistic missile submarine, President Richard Nixon was in office. Procurement of the new submarines won’t begin until 2021.

“Our ballistic missile submarines are the bedrock underlying our national nuclear deterrent,” Breckenridge said. “Americans are asked to invest in replacing this force only once every other generation. … Recapitalizing this force is a solemn duty we have to the nuclear security of future Americans as well as allies.”

Source – Roll Call

15 hospitalized after fire on Russian nuclear submarine

      

MOSCOW, Russia – Russian investigators on Tuesday, September 17 said 15 servicemen had been hospitalized after a fire during repairs on a nuclear-powered submarine in the Far East, with the vessel sustaining significant damage.

The Russian Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes in Russia, said it had opened a criminal probe into suspected abuse of authority over the fire on the Tomsk submarine in the Bolshoi Kamen shipyard in the Russian Far East.

“The Tomsk partly lost some of its functional characteristics” as a result of the fire, the investigators said, without giving further details on the nature of the damage.

“The health of 15 servicemen was harmed and they are now receiving treatment in a military hospital,” the statement said. It did not give further details on the nature of the injuries.

Initial reports about the fire on Monday morning on the Tomsk made no mention of the injuries or the damage to the vessel.

Reports on Monday said that the staff were evacuated after the fire, which took place during welding operations. The fire was said to have produced smoke rather than an open blaze.

Officials emphasized that the submarine’s reactor had long been shut off and posed no danger of radiation leaks. All its weapons had been removed before the repair work was undertaken.

However a source familiar with the situation told the Interfax news agency in MoscowTuesday of the near-farcical circumstances as workers on the scene unsuccessfully tried to put out the fire.

“There was a fire-extinguisher but it was empty. They called the fire brigade and tried to put it out themselves but nothing came out,” said the source.

The first fire engine only arrived on the scene some 20 minutes after the fire broke out, the source said.

“The repair workers are specialists of the highest class. But it seems that on this occasion they lost their alertness. The chain of errors was long and everyone is going to make the corresponding conclusions,” the source added.

Russia’s aging fleet of nuclear-powered submarines has long been the subject of safety concerns. The rubberized coating on the Delta IV class submarine Yekaterinburg caught fire in a major blaze in December 2011, injuring nine people.

Reports later said that the vessel was armed with long-range missiles.

Source – Rappler