Tag Archives: Submarines

President says”Taiwan needs new submarines”

President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that Taiwan badly needs a new generation of submarines to beef up its naval fleet.

“Our existing submarines are all very old and need
renewal,” Ma said while meeting with a United States congressional delegation
headed by Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the U.S. House
Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Ma noted that Royce paid a visit to a naval
base in southern Taiwan Sunday and boarded the Guppy-class submarine “Sea

“We acquired that warship more than 40 years ago,” the 62-year-old
president said. “I happened to be serving my mandatory military service in the
Navy at the time, so you can imagine how badly we need to renew our submarine

The congressional delegation headed by Royce visited the Tsoying
naval base Sunday for a briefing and boarded two mine hunters that the U.S.
delivered to Taiwan last year after overhauling them.

Military spokesman
Luo Shou-he said naval authorities took advantage of Royce’s visit to stress
Taiwan’s desire to acquire new submarines to strengthen its maritime

In April 2001, then-U.S. President George W. Bush announced the
sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive
arms package for the island since 1992.

Since then, however, there has
been little progress in finalizing the deal.

Taiwan now has two
U.S.-built Guppy-class submarines and two Dutch-built Zwaardvis-class
submarines, which were acquired in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Ma told Royce
that Taiwan-U.S. relations were at a low ebb when he first took office in May
2008. At that time, he said, relations across the Taiwan Strait had also almost
come to a standstill.

“I worked proactively to improve the situation
immediately after assuming office,” Ma recalled.

In less than a month
following his inauguration, Ma said, institutionalized cross-strait talks were
resumed to pave the way for normal development of cross-strait

At the same time, Ma said, his administration has spared no
effort to restore mutual trust with the United States through a “low-key,
surprise-free” approach.

In October 2008, then-U.S. President George W.
Bush approved an arms sales package worth more than US$6 billion, Ma

Today, he said, Taipei-Washington ties are in their best shape in
more than three decades, and the Taiwan Strait is more stable and peaceful than
it has ever been since 1949, when the Republic of China government moved to

The U.S. delegation arrived in Taipei Saturday for a three-day
visit as part of a tour to East Asia.

Source – Focus Taiwan

3 brothers followed their dad into the Navy and all become commanders of submarines

Bacon Brothers had remarkable Naval careers after their Bremerton High days

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO  Navy commanders Roger, Bart and Dan Bacon. Roger and Bart played on the 1955 Bremerton basketball team, and brother Dan was the manager.

Navy commanders Roger, Bart and Dan Bacon. Roger and Bart played on the 1955 Bremerton basketball team, and brother Dan was the manager.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO  Bart Bacon was the commander of the submarine USS Trout at one point during his career.
Bart Bacon was the commander of the submarine USS Trout at one point during his career.

But the Bacons — twins Roger and Barton and younger brother Dan, who was the team manager — did exceptionally well in their careers. And their careers were similar if not identical. That makes their story even more remarkable.

Roger and Bart started on that 1955 team. Once they got their graduation diploma, the two quickly got on with their lives. Roger accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy, where his basketball career fizzled out after a couple years because of foot injuries. He wound up coaching the Plebes (freshman) basketball team his senior year, and he also rowed with the Navy crew. He graduated 50th in a Navy class of 800 and got a masters from the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Bart played one year of football at Washington State and then followed his high school sweetheart and future wife, Marilyn Miller (now deceased), to the University of Washington where he got a split degree in industrial engineering and business. He would have played football at Washington except he didn’t know about a new rule that forced transfers to sit out a year. When he was a junior he figured he was too far behind the others to try it.

Dan, whom his older brothers considered the smartest, went to Stanford to get his math and physics degrees and got a masters of science degree from the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey.

To keep the story short, Dan and Roger eventually got into the Navy Submarine School at New London, Conn., following in the footsteps of their dad, Barton Sr., who was in ROTC at Stanford and eventually became a submarine commander.

Bart had decided to go a different rout. He went to Navy Flight School in Pensacola, Fla., with the intent to become a pilot. His brothers were worried about him, so they talked him into applying for sub school.

“They thought I was eventually going to kill myself (by being a pilot),” said Bart, who was tops in his class at Pensacola in academics and second in flight school. He was on a tour with the carrier USS Yorktown when he was accepted into sub school, thus continuing an amazing streak of Bacons in submarine service for our country.

All three Bacons once commanded different subs in the Pacific at the same time.

Roger, who lives in retirement on Hood Canal near Poulsbo, had a 33-year Navy career that ended with him being Vice Admiral in charge of all the submarines in the United States arsenal — 100 fast attack and 30 strategic submarines. He commanded the fast attack submarine USS Flasher, the strategic nuclear submarine USS Patrick Henry and the submarine tender USS Hunley. He also served as commander of a submarine squadron in Pearl Harbor and as commander of Submarines Mediterranean, Naples, Italy.

Photo with no caption

As a civilian he worked for Westinghouse as vice president at Hanford overseeing nuclear waster disposal, and at Rocky Flats as president of Safe Sites of Colorado. He closed down Rocky Flats. He also was chair of the undersea Warfare Department at the Navy Postgraduate School for four years.

Bart was commanding officer of the USS Trout submarine and the USS Cleveland LPD 7 (light class cruiser), and was commanding office of the Submarine Training Facility, and Navy Personnel Research Department, both in San Diego. He also is a graduate of the National War College, Armed Forces Staff College, and Defense Intelligence College. Retired from the Navy after 31 years, Bart lives in San Diego.

Dan was commanding officer of the fast attack nuclear submarine USS Haddock and retired as a Commander after 20 years of service. As a civilian he was president and founder of West Coast Division of Sonalist, and was awarded the Department of Defense Certificate of Excellence in 2000. He died suddenly in 2008 at the age of 67 at his home in San Diego. His oldest son, Dan, who lives on Bainbridge Island, graduated from the Navy Academy and served in the Navy 20 years, spending half that time with the nuclear sub force.

Every submarine the Bacon’s commanded was awarded the Battle Efficiency E for overall excellence in competition with all other submarines in the squadron over a course of a year. Bart’s USS Trout command was adjudged the most outstanding diesel submarine in the entire submarine force in 1976.

“Roger figured out that the Bacon Navy family had 16 commands during the 99 years of cumulative naval service,” Bart said.

Bart Bacon Sr. and his boys, Roger, Dan and Bart, just before World War II. All three of the Bacon brothers later commanded different subs in the Pacific at the same time.

All three brothers earned numerous Navy honor way too long to list here. Roger was awarded the French Legion of Honor and three Distinguished Service medals. Dan and Bart’s awards include Legion of Merit and Presidential Meritorious Service Medal.

This, of course, is not the entire story of the Bacons. It’s a glimpse, a snapshot if you will, of three brothers who served our country well, as they once did for Bremerton High School as young high school students that were part of a remarkable collection of guys who played for a remarkable basketball coach — Ken Wills — on a remarkable basketball team.

Source – Kitsap Sun

Volunteer, retired Canadian Submariner receives Diamond Jubilee medal

Local volunteer and retired navy chief Larry Skaalrud has been honoured with a new medal.

Skaalrud, 70, an Airdrie resident since 1996, received a Diamond Jubilee Medal on Nov. 27 during a ceremony at McDougall Centre in Calgary.

“It’s a feeling you just can’t explain,” said Skaalrud who said it was an honour to receive it.

He was nominated by members of the Submariners Association of Canada, an organization Skaalrud started in 1995.

Involved with the Canadian Navy for 32 years, Skaalrud said he and other submariners wanted a way to stay in touch.

During his time with the Navy, he worked on submarines. He said the longest trip he took underwater was 29 days from Victoria to Hawaii.

“You really get to know one another,” he said, explaining the organization is a way for everyone to remain connected years later.

He said inside the submarine about 74 officers would work together. Now, because of technology, less crewmen are needed – about 60. He said everyone worked together and knew how to man all aspects of the vessel.

After forming the submariner association in 1995, two other chapters have started up in Canada.

The association attends local memorial ceremonies and services, naval ceremonies, and provides financial assistance to veteran groups and area sea cadets.

It’s open to people qualified on submarines and hosts reunions, the most recent one four years ago, which allows former submariners to get together and remember their days together.

He also said new submariners are part of the organization as well.

He’s still involved with the association and recently toured the HMCS Ojibwa, Canada’ first Cold War submarine, now decommissioned and docked in Port Burwell Harbour, Ontario as the centrepiece for the new Museum of Naval History.

Skaalrud who grew up in Carsland, left when he joined the navy. He returned to his home province in 1996 and settled in Airdrie.

And once he arrived, Skaalrud immersed himself in the community here and worked eight years at the City of Airdrie as a utility technician.

He is a past president of the Airdrie Legion, a former member of Citizens on Patrol and helps with Ducks Unlimited. Currently, he is president of Airdrie Village Association, a group of local residents dedicated to maintaining the atmosphere of Airdrie’s downtown neighbourhoods.

The Diamond Jubilee Medal marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.

The medal honours significant contributions and achievements by 60,000 Canadians.

Source – Airdrie City View

Russia builds deep-sea research submarine

Construction of a nuclear-powered deep-sea research submarine has started in Russia. The sub will also be used in search and rescue operations.

Oscar-class submarine

An Oscar-class submarine, on which the design of the new submarine is based.

Designed by the St Petersburg-based Rubin Central Design Bureau, the submarine – dubbed ‘Project 09852’ – is based on the 949A Oscar-class naval submarine. It will be used to conduct multi-purpose research in remote areas of the oceans and to take part in search and rescue operations. The vessel will carry smaller rescue submersibles. In addition, the new submarine will be employed in the installation of subsea equipment and inspections; testing new types of scientific and research equipment; and monitoring transport routes.A ceremony was held at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in northwestern Russia on 20 December to mark the start of construction of the vessel. It was attended by the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov and Sevmash general director Mikhail Budnichenko.

The expected completion date of the submarine was not disclosed.

The Sevmash shipyard’s main activity is the construction of ships and submarines for the Russian Navy. It is the only shipyard in Russia producing nuclear-powered submarines.

Source – WNN

Submarine Design Effort Gets $2B Boost

 A U.S. Navy concept for the Ohio-Replacement Program submarine.

 A U.S. Navy concept for the Ohio-Replacement Program submarine. (Naval Sea Systems Command)

The effort to design and develop the U.S. Navy’s next ballistic missile submarine got a major boost Friday with the announcement of a nearly $2 billion contract award to General Dynamics.

The contract was awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to GD’s Electric Boat division in Groton, Conn., the only shipbuilder deemed capable of designing the Ohio-Class Replacement Program (ORP) submarine.

NAVSEA, in a statement accompanying the contract announcement noted that “special incentives” are included in the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to compensate for the lack of competition.

“The Navy established a structured series of incentives to motivate General Dynamics Electric Boat and the government to further innovation to lower non-recurring engineering costs, construction costs, and operation and support costs,” Capt. William Brougham, NAVSEA’s Ohio Replacement program manager, said in the statement. “This contract employs financial incentives designed to align the government’s requirement for cost savings with our industrial partners’ innovation and ability to earn profit.”

Bob Hamilton, a spokesman for Electric Boat, acknowledged that cost-control is a top priority for the ORP program.

“The Navy has made clear that development of the next-generation strategic deterrent is its highest priority, and that affordability is key,” Hamilton said Dec. 21 in an e-mail to Defense News. “The Navy has stated that it expects this contract will provide it with the best quality product at the lowest cost, and we agree.

“EB has developed a Design for Affordability (DFA) program that we successfully used on the Virginia [SSN 774 attack submarine] program to redesign the bow while reducing the cost $40 million per ship, as well as reducing life-cycle costs. EB, along with our subcontractors and vendors, will continue to utilize the DFA program, and working with the Navy, we expect to meet the cost reduction targets in the contract,” Hamilton wrote.

“This contract will provide stability to our engineering and design workforce as well as the supplier base, as well assure that the schedule for the nation’s strategic deterrent submarine is maintained.”

The ORP is expected to produce 12 new submarines to replace 14 existing Ohio-class submarines.

The latest contract, according to NAVSEA, also covers work on a Common Missile Compartment with Britain’s Royal Navy, which is developing a new ballistic submarine to replace its Vanguard-class submarines. Both new designs will use the same Trident D5 missiles now in service.

In addition to ORP design work and continuing design and development of the missile compartment, the new contract award will, according to NAVSEA, provide for “shipbuilder and vendor component and technology development, engineering integration, concept design studies, cost reduction initiatives using a design for affordability process, and full scale prototype manufacturing and assembly.”

Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, NAVSEA’s program executive officer for submarines, noted that the Navy’s approach covers the life of the program and its ships.

“This contract moves the Ohio Replacement forward in setting the program’s technical foundation — ship specifications, system descriptions, and design products,” Johnson said in NAVSEA’s statement.

“We are setting the tone for the whole program. By emphasizing cost control across the platform through its entire life, we will ensure that every dollar is spent wisely while designing a submarine class that will be in service through 2083.”

Detail design work on the new submarine is expected to begin in fiscal 2017, with construction set to start in 2012.

After a seven-year construction period, the first ship is expected to makes its first deterrent patrol in 2031.

Source – Defense News

Submarines recommended as way for Taiwan to better deter China

Scott Bates – President of the Washington-based Centre for National Policy (CNP)

Washington D.C., Dec. 20 (CNA) The head of an American think tank suggested Thursday that Taiwan should purchase submarines to strengthen its naval deployment amid the growing military imbalance between Taiwan and China

Taiwan can put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense that includes submarines, argued Scott Bates, president of the Washington-based Center for National Policy (CNP), at a panel discussion in which he and two other U.S. scholars shared their observations from a trip to Taiwan in early December.

“It seems this (submarine) is a perfect naval asset for the defense of Taiwan in the protection of freedom and navigation in the Straits, in the South China and in the East China seas. And the current array of submarine forces that Taiwan has is not up to achieving those missions,” Bates said.

Although Taiwan’s policies do not include attacking Chinese civilians, its Air Force and Navy are not currently strong enough to deter China’s People’s Liberation Army, Bates said.

Taiwan’s people may currently be unwilling to spend too much on national defense, which can cost a lot, but Taiwan still has to recognize the military imbalance across the Taiwan Strait, Bates warned.

One of the ways the country’s military wants to address the imbalance is by buying advanced F-16 C/D fighter jets from the United States to bolster its arsenal, but Washington has yet to agree to the sale.

Bates suggested, however, that Taiwan consider other air assets than the more expensive F-16 C/D aircraft.

“I would suggest the Taiwanese consider the development of drone assets as well for the air. I think there are a lot of air assets that they can think about that are not as expensive and so that each year you’re not set up for the idea that if you get this one magic system all will be well,” Bates said.

“I think that other options need to be developed. (That) doesn’t mean you give up on getting those other assets but you look at some new ones as well.”

Taiwan’s Air Force can hardly be compared with that of China, Bates said, but it could put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense.

Bates also suggested that the U.S. government provide military training and defensive arms to Taiwan.

Source – Focus Taiwan


Xmas message – “Keep the bubble” Dolphin 36

"Capt Sir OOW contact report - Right ahead at 5,000 yards I have Santa" Yeahhh!!

“Capt Sir OOW contact report – Right ahead at 5,000 yards I have Santa” Yeahhh!!

For most, this day represents the last working day before Christmas, not that there’ll be as much work done as usual I suspect! Many of us will be looking to secure our work stations, hide what we should have done in the lead up to Xmas and make the relevant cast iron excuses.  We’ll finish mid way through the afternoon (if not before) and make haste back to our loved ones.

It’s seems that the country’s media is asking us to spare a thought for the Armed Forces and the sterling job they at Christmas; I would echo and indeed endorse this sentiment but in this instance would look within at our own brothers (And in some countries – “sisters”).

Being an ex-Submariner of 20+ years I remember the happy and the not so happy times at this festive time of year. Below are a few examples that might strike a chord with you Past, Present or Future:

  • Most of the boats back for Xmas stand off. The Imps, the G&D, the RNA brimming with submarine crews readying themselves to go on leave.
  • Sitting on an upturned milk crate or an Elephant’s Tam**x, on trot, on Christmas Day, in Faslane at Two O’clock in the afternoon, with 2 hours to go wondering if being a submariner was indeed the best decision you ever made.
  • Relaxing in the sunshine, in a bar, half-way across the world reading about how wet and windy it is in Plymouth with no sign of a let up.
  • Climbing into your rack on Christmas eve night with only your thoughts of home for company. The rush air from the punkah louvre streaming uncomfortably across your chest and the constant whirrr of the on-board ventilation. With Christmas day only hours away you’re not even “round the buoy” on that 12 week patrol.
  • The excitement of returning to port in time for Christmas having been away for 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months. Tossing and turning, pacing about, willing the clock to run faster and finally “Fall out of Harbour Stns below. D’ya hear there – Leave, leave to those not required by…………..”
  • Being standby Submarine and getting called in on Christmas eve to put to sea to track, chase a submarine of “interest”.

Some personal memories, not all my own but I hope it jogs some of yours. Spare a thought this Christmas for those brothers we know, those we have known (God rest their souls) and those we are yet to know.

Be good, be kind, stay safe!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all.

Kind regards

Jason Lockley (Blog author)

Linkedin memeber

5 win $900M Navy contract for submarine C5ISR capabilities

Five contractors have won a $179.9 million task order contract to provide production, installation and in-service support services to the U.S. Navy for work on submarines and other platforms. With options, the contract hits $899.5 million.

The five contractors that won are as follow:

  • BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc.
  • Computer Sciences Corp.
  • Engility Corp.
  • Science Applications International Corp.

Services to be performed include design support, acquisition, production, integration, testing, installation and configuration management of certified command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

There is a special focus on submarine and surface new construction, modernization, systems production/integration, installation and life cycle support of systems and subsystems integrated within or in support of the subsurface and surface platforms, afloat and based on the shore, according to a Defense Department announcement.

Contract options will bring the total value of this contract to $899.5 million, with work being performed worldwide until December 2017; otherwise, work is expected to be completed in December 2013.

This contract received 15 offers via full and open competition on the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center e-commerce Central website and the Federal Business Opportunities website, the announcement said.

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, in Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity.

Source – Washington Technology

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


Fast attack submarine arrives in Maine for maintenance

KITTERY — The USS Topeka (SSN 754), a Navy fast attack submarine, and its crew of 120 enlisted personnel and 13 officers arrived Sunday at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

In this 2009 photo, the USS Topeka departs Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. Topeka was showcased in the movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

Shipyard spokesperson Danna Eddy said the Topeka, which recently completed a six-month deployment that took the submarine to the western Pacific Ocean, will undergo maintenance and system upgrades during its stay in Maine.

Its tour of duty, which covered more than 35,000 nautical miles, took the submarine to Japan, Singapore and Guam.

Topeka is the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for the city of Topeka. It is a Los Angeles-class nuclear powered submarine featuring a retractable bow plane and a reinforced sail for working under ice. It has Tomahawk cruise missile capability.

Topeka is assigned to the Pacific fleet . Its homeport is San Diego.

Source – Portland Press Herald