Monthly Archives: December 2013

UK – First glimpse of new nuclear subs

Defence bosses have revealed the first glimpse at the  future  of Britain’s nuclear deterrent today, publishing the first artist’s impression  of the submarines due to replace the Vanguard-class boats which carry Trident  missiles.

The image was included on the cover of the second annual report to MPs about  developments in the Successor Submarine programme.

 ​DEFENCETrident

 

The boats are designed to be amongst the stealthiest in the world and the  image, created by the design  team  working on the new vessels, shows a submarine built with sweeping curves.

In the report to MPs, the Ministry of Defence announced it had agreed two  contracts worth a total of £79 million to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines for  initial work on the new  vessels, which are due to be in service by 2028.

The items include structural fittings, electrical equipment, castings and  forgings which must be ordered now, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said.

Mr Hammond said: “The Successor programme is supporting around 2,000 jobs and  up to 850 British businesses could benefit from the supply chain as we exploit  the most modern technologies, and employ a significant portion of the UK’s  engineers, project  managers  and technicians over the coming years.”

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord, said: “The Royal Navy has been  operating continuous at-sea deterrent patrols for more than 40 years and the  Successor submarines will allow us to do so with cutting-edge equipment well  into the future.”

Both contracts, one of £47 million and another of £32 million, will be filled  by workers in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

The Ministry of Defence said the total number of MoD and industrial staff  currently working on the Successor programme is around 2,000, with more than  half working as engineers  and designers.

More than 850 potential UK suppliers have so far been identified as  benefiting from investment in the programme and as many as 6,000 people will be  involved by the time that the construction reaches a peak.

Source – Western Morning News

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“Red October” submarine returns to Connecticut from last deployment

USS Dallas

USS Dallas

The submarine that starred in “The Hunt for Red October,” the USS Dallas, returned from its last overseas deployment Monday. Next year, after 33 years in the fleet, the Dallas will be inactivated.

Tom Clancy’s Cold War thriller made the Dallas famous, but in Navy circles it is better known for being the first attack submarine to carry a dry-deck shelter, which houses a vehicle for launching and recovering special operations forces.

“Of all the submarines that would be finishing up their service life, there are a couple out there that people know by name, and Dallas is one of them,” said Capt. David A. Roberts, who commanded Dallas from 2007 to 2009. “It kind of adds to the moment. ‘The Hunt for Red October’ submarine we all know and love from the movies is going to be finishing up its service life soon.”

But, Roberts said, he always tells people who ask about the Dallas that it has “done a lot more than just being in the movies.”

“Think about how the world has changed,” said Roberts, who now leads the Submarine Learning Center. “The missions Dallas was built for initially back then, in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, are so much different than in 2013. And she has stood the test of time and been able to keep step with the changing world, the challenging world.”

The Dallas (SSN 700) returned to the Naval Submarine Base on Monday after operating in Europe and the Middle East and traveling more than 34,000 miles during nearly seven months at sea.

While all deployments are memorable, Cmdr. Jack Houdeshell, the current commanding officer of the Dallas, said the last deployment comes second only to the maiden deployment for a submarine.

And on this deployment, Houdeshell added, the crew and the ship “showed the world what we can still do.”

The Dallas will continue to support training and other missions until September, when the preparations begin in earnest for the decommissioning, Houdeshell said.

One of 42 Los Angeles-class attack submarines remaining in the fleet, the Dallas was commissioned in 1981 as the seventh member in a class of 61 submarines. It has deployed to every operational theater around the world ever since.

The submarine circumnavigated the globe and transited the Panama Canal in 1984 and participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm in the early 1990s.

Master Chief Electronics Technician Tomas A. Garcia, who was the chief of the boat on Dallas from 2010 to 2012, said the Dallas was known for delivering Navy SEALs, but the equipment was removed shortly before he reported aboard. Guided-missile submarines and some Virginia-class submarines carry the dry-deck shelters now, he added.

Roberts, Houdeshell and Garcia all said serving aboard Dallas was the highlight of their careers.

Garcia, a Texas native who is now the department master chief for Basic Enlisted Submarine School, led about 100 Naval Submarine School students to the pier on Monday so they could attend a submarine homecoming for the first time.

“There is no better way for them to really get a full appreciation for what it means to deploy on a submarine,” Garcia said.

Seeing the families and feeling the excitement of the homecoming, Garcia added, “really drives home” the importance of the submarine force’s missions and of the family support at home. Garcia said he also watched “The Hunt for Red October” with his family on Sunday night to celebrate the Dallas’ impending arrival.

Seaman Jose Cruz, 19, cheered “Hooyah, Dallas” with his classmates as the Dallas arrived next to the pier. Cruz said he felt as if he was being welcomed into the traditions of the submarine force.

“For all of us,” he said, “this will be something to remember.”

Houdeshell said Monday was an emotional day because he was thrilled to see his family and see the sailors reunited with their families, especially in time for Thanksgiving, but he also knew that after he brought his ship in “she’s not going to go out and do it again.”

“I think the real measure of the Dallas is the crews that served on the Dallas and have gone out throughout the fleet,” he said. “Even when the ship is gone you will still have the Dallas spirit out in the fleet from the sailors that served on board.”

The submarine itself may live on too, as a centerpiece for a maritime museum. A nonprofit foundation, the Dallas Maritime Museum Foundation, plans to build a museum featuring Navy ships and other vessels named after the city.

“As much as I hate to see my old ship eventually be decommissioned,” Roberts said, “I think memorializing her in Dallas would be a perfect ending to a great career.”

Source – New Haven Register

World War II Japanese mega-submarine discovered off Hawaii

hawaiisub2.jpg

  • The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory Pisces V submersible at the deck of the I-400 submarine. (NOAA HURL ARCHIVES)

  • I-400.jpg

    The I-400 was one of the “Sen-Toku” class submarines, which were the largest submarines ever built until nuclear-powered subs were invented. It could travel one and a half times around the world without refueling.

A Japanese submarine that was lost at sea after it was intentionally scuttled by the U.S. Navy during World War II has been located by a team of explorers off the coast of Hawaii.

A spokesman for the University of Hawaii at Mānoa said in a press release the discovery of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s mega-submarine, the I-400, solves the decades-old mystery of where the submarine lay on the ocean floor.

The I-400 was one of the “Sen-Toku” class submarines, which were the largest submarines ever built until nuclear-powered subs were invented. It is 400 feet long and could travel one and a half times around the world without refueling.

“The I-400 has been on our ‘to-find’ list for some time,” said veteran undersea explorer Terry Kerby, who led the expedition that found the submarine. “It was the first of its kind of only three built, so it is a unique and very historic submarine.”

Kerby said finding the submarine where they did was “totally unexpected” because they had expected it to be further out to sea.

“It was a thrill when the view of a giant submarine appeared out of the darkness,” Kerby said.

The U.S. Navy captured the I-400 and four other Japanese submarines at the end of the war and brought them to Pearl Harbor to inspect them. In 1946, the Soviet Union demanded access to the submarines under the terms of the treaty that ended the war.

Instead of allowing the Soviets access to the submarines’ advanced technology, the U.S. sunk them and claimed to have no information about where they were. Four out of the five submarines have since been located.

The I-400 was discovered in August and its discovery was announced Tuesday, after the NOAA reviewed the discovery with government officials in the U.S. and Japan.

Source – Fox News