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Russian submarine returns after bombing Islamic State in Syria

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The Russian submarine that carried out strikes against IS in Syria returns to Russia. (Source: Ruptly)

In the war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, Russia had flexed its military might last week as it launched strikes in Iraq and Syria for the first time from a submarine stationed in the Mediterranean.

This video shows Russia’s naval troops arriving back in Novorossiysk, Russia after successfully hitting so-called Islamic state positions in Syrian province of Raqqa. People are seen cheering the naval troops as they make their way into the country. Made in Rostov-on-Don, the submarine was on a mission in the international waters to repel the threat posed by Islamic State militants and rebels in Iraq and Syria.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said last week that Russia’s strikes reportedly hit “300 targets of different kinds” and helped Syrian special forces recover the black box of the Russian warplane downed by Turkey last month. “We used Calibre cruise missiles from the (Kilo-class) Rostov-on-Don submarine from the Mediterranean Sea,” Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin during an encounter broadcast on state television.

This video shows Russia firing missiles from submarine at IS in Syria

“As a result of the successful launches by the aviation and submarine fleet, all targets were destroyed,” Shoigu said, adding that oil infrastructure, ammunition depots and a mine-making factory had been hit in the strikes.

On September 30, Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria saying it needed to target Islamic State militants — but the West has accused Moscow of seeking to prop up Assad’s regime and hitting moderate rebels.

Link – Indian Express

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Ready, steady cook! Submarine museum event’s a smash hit – Video clip

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    image of snow covered countryside

    Click on the picture for Video clip

CHILDREN had the chance to bake and learn about food that sailors on a submarine would have to eat.

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Haslar Road, Gosport, invited children of all ages to take part in a summer activity.

Sammy Sardine’s Summer School had children discovering the food that sailors ate on board a submarine during the Second World War.

On board HMS Alliance, children got to see a Frog in the Bog, also known as Toad in the Hole, illustrated by the museum’s Horrible Science of a Submarine exhibition.

Gareth Brettell, education manager at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, said: ‘Everyone had a great time cooking the different cakes inspired by the submarine.

‘They got to pick their favourite that others had made, then they had the chance to cook their own.

‘They enjoyed making their little cakes with different parts of the submarine in different flavours and ingredients.

‘We had a tropical fruit cake and a coconut and chocolate cake which the kids loved.’

As well as the cooking classes, families who visit the museum can also learn old ways to communicate.

Kids will have the opportunity to learn Morse code, semaphore and how to write using invisible ink.

Once they have mastered this, they can write secret messages and send a signal across the museum.

The communications day is on August 13.

Gareth added: ‘There is something for everyone this summer

Source – The News

Wrens join Submarines – Video Clip

Warning – This clip, whilst highly amusing, contains extremely bad language and has the propensity to offend delicate ears!!

Source – Youtube

US – SSBNX Under Pressure: Submarine Chief Says Navy Can’t Reduce – Video Clip

SSBN Force Level Requirements: It’s Simply a Matter of Geography

By Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge Director, Undersea Warfare, OPNAV N97

There have been recent claims that today’s ballistic missile submarine force is operating with excess capacity and, therefore, force reductions to save resources may be in order. As I have noted in response to a recent op-ed, this supposition is untrue – in fact, our lean SSBN force is providing the cornerstone of our national security at a pace that has remained essentially constant since the late 1990s. Even so, questions about the size and capability of our future at-sea deterrence are appropriate to consider as we recapitalize this national asset. Given past force structure reductions from the “41 for Freedom” SSBN force of the 1960s and 1970s, to the 18 Ohio-class SSBNs of the 1980s and 1990s, to our current force of 14 SSBNs, one might wonder, “What is the minimum number needed for strategic deterrence?” Given advances in technology and the changing scope and complexity of post-Cold War deterrence, is there a way to “do more with less” as we field the next class of SSBNs?

The Mission: Delivering survivable nuclear deterrence from large open-ocean areas

The purpose of the SSBN force is to deter nuclear attack against the United States and against our friends and allies. Our “boomers” do this as part of a nuclear triad. The SSBN role is to provide an assured response capability that is survivable, reliable and robust enough to act as compelling deterrent against a nuclear strike from a foreign power. To make sure our SSBNs are survivable, they are operated from bases giving them access to the broad ocean areas in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. They are stealthy – both in transit and on station. They are operated in a manner that makes their locations unpredictable, while still ensuring that our adversaries know that we have the ability to hold them at risk. This enduring, certain deterrent force acts as an important stabilizer; it is always there and always at the ready.

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay after three months at sea, March 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Kimber/Released)

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay after three months at sea, March 20, 2013.

Our Current and Future SSBN Force: A case study in system optimization

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) off the coast of Southern California, March 1, 2011. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch certified the readiness of an SSBN crew and the operational performance of the submarine's strategic weapons system before returning to operational availability. The launch was the 135th consecutive successful test flight. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Benjamin Crossley/Released)

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) off the coast of Southern California, March 1, 2011. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch certified the readiness of an SSBN crew and the operational performance of the submarine’s strategic weapons system before returning to operational availability. The launch was the 135th consecutive successful test flight.

Our SSBN force has been “optimized for leanness” based on more than 50 years and 4,000 patrols of proven performance. The deterrent value we provided with 41 SSBNs we now provide with 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. This 65 percent force reduction is a result of two impressive technological developments – the extended range of the D5 missile and quieting technologies that make our SSBNs that much harder to find, even by a persistent and determined adversary. Our boomers are able to exploit the vast reaches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to patrol silently while within range of key targets to hold an aggressor at risk.

As we return to our question of the leanest force capable of providing this credible and persuasive deterrent, our answer simply comes down to world geography 101 principles. Because the Pacific Ocean is larger, we operate two additional SSBNs in the Pacific to accommodate range and survivability considerations. Six SSBNs in the Pacific and four in the Atlantic is the bare minimum required to provide uninterrupted alert coverage for the combatant commander.

So if 10 SSBNs is our absolute minimum, why do we need 14 today? The reason hinges on the three-year refueling overhaul at the mid-life of each SSBN removing them from strategic service. Today, of our 14 SSBNs, we operate on average 11 to provide vital nuclear deterrence. Based upon other electronic system modernizations, this minimum force level occasionally dips to 10 operational SSBNs. One important historical note is relevant to the refueling overhaul discussion. The Ohio-class core life exceeded the design estimates of 15 years and the Navy was able to postpone mid-life refueling by six years.  Naval Sea Systems Command engineers then conducted detailed technical analysis of all other shipboard systems and extended the service life of our Ohio class from 30 to 42 years – a mind-staggering 40 percent life extension. This technological feat saved the country substantial budgetary resources, reaping a greater return from the initial investment in this SSBN class; essentially four less SSBNs will be procured during this century as a result of this achievement.

The good news is that this legacy of lean success is being imprinted in the DNA of the new Ohio replacement SSBN. The engineers at NAVSEA and our partners in industry are designing a new boomer with a 42-year service life and a reactor core that will not require refueling throughout the life of the ship. This will reduce the class mid-life overhaul by one-third and we will be able to deploy our 10 operational SSBNs with a force of just 12 total SSBNs.

If you want to see a “lean, mean fighting machine,” look no further than our current and future ballistic missile submarine force.

Source – Navy Life

UK – Mourners pack out funeral for ex-submariner – Video clip

THE Armed Forces are sometimes dubbed ‘the biggest family in the world’ and today proved exactly that.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defence/mourners-pack-out-funeral-for-ex-submariner-1-5289388

Scores of mourners turned out at Fareham Cemetery, Wickham Road, to see off Rodney ‘Vic’ Silvester, a veteran who served on nuclear submarines for many years.

Vic, 67, died last week at QA Hospital after losing his fight with cancer.

Prior to his death, he had spent a short time at Woodland Court residential care home in Portchester.

Not much had been known about Vic before his death as he had become withdrawn after his friends and family had all died.

His one remaining cousin came forward to organise the funeral, but when Supporting Veterans in Care Facebook group heard that Vic faced a lonely funeral, it put out a plea for mourners.

The British Legion and the Submariners’ Association heard about the funeral and followed suit.

Today, representatives from the groups and people who had read the plea in The News turned out in Fareham.

A service was held where mourners heard about Vic’s career at HMS Dolphin, on HMS Odin and on HMS Dreadnought, before he was laid to rest.

A bugler played the Last Post as his coffin was committed to the ground.

John Harper, from Bognor Regis, is Vic’s second cousin. He said: ‘I think what these guys do is fabulous, absolutely superb. I didn’t expect such a large turn out, it’s brilliant. I would like to say thank you very much for everybody for turning out. Rod would have been chuffed to bits, so would his dad. He would have loved every bit of it.’

Roy Dixon, from Gosport, is part of the Submariners’ Association. He said: ‘We heard that Vic had passed and the information was very scant but one significant factor was that we had heard only one member of family had been in contact. So we decided that we would not let the side down, and do what we would always do and attend the funeral of a fellow submariner. I’m so pleased that the turn out is as good as this, from all walks of navy life, surface ships, bombers, diesel boats, there’s even a green beret here which is really something.’

Lisa Smith and Tamie Pye, staff from Vic’s care home, were at the funeral.

Tamie said: ‘He came out of his shell once he came to us. He was like a new man.’

Lisa said: ‘He kept himself to himself but he did like to have a good chat, especially about his navy days.’

Father Paul Miles-Knight led the service . He said: ‘It is amazing to see. At the start there was only going to be me and three others here but thanks to the wonders of the internet, the veterans got together. He would have been proud.’

Source – The News

 

Submarine ‘Minnesota’ successfully completes sea trials – Video clip

The U.S. Navy’s newest attack submarine “Minnesota” successfully completes first sea trials Monday.

Submarine ‘Minnesota’ successfully completes sea trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries announced the newest Virginia-class submarine, Minnesota (SSN 783), successfully completed alpha sea trials Monday.

Alpha trials are the boat’s first round of at-sea tests and evaluations. Minnesota is being built at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Globe Newswire reported.

All systems, components and compartments were tested during the trials. The submarine submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and under water. The Minnesota will undergo two more rounds of sea trials, including one with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, before delivery later this month. Minnesota is anticipated to deliver approximately 11 months ahead of its contracted delivery date.

“This submarine is the result of a lot of hard work by the shipbuilders here at Newport News, our teammates at Electric Boat, and the overall Navy organizational structure, including NAVSEA, SUPSHIP and ship’s force personnel,” said Jim Hughes, NNS’ vice president of submarines and fleet support, in a news release. “It is incredibly gratifying for all of us to see this magnificent vessel operate so well during her first at-sea period.

Minnesota clearly carries on the Virginia-class tradition of continuous cost and schedule improvement while also raising the bar on operational readiness and capability.”

Minnesota, named to honor the state’s residents and their continued support of the U.S. military, is the last of the block II Virginia-class submarines and is in the final stages of construction and testing at Newport News Shipbuilding division. Construction began in February 2008, and the keel was authenticated in May 2011. The boat was christened Oct. 27, 2012.

Minnesota is the 10th ship of the Virginia class of nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines. It’s the third ship to bear the state name, the Associated Press reported. The first USS Minnesota was a sailing steam frigate commissioned in 1857 that served during the Civil War. The second Minnesota was commissioned in 1907. The 7,800-ton Minnesota will have a crew of about 134 officers and enlisted personnel.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions employing about 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California.

Source – Dispatch

Coalition torpedoes Collins submarine plan in Labor’s defence white paper _ Video Clip

White paper a ‘disaster’ for defence

Click on Picture for Video Clip

White paper a ‘disaster’ for defence

Greg Sheridan believes the government’s defence white paper lacks both operational and strategic sense.

BIPARTISANSHIP on defence policy has been fractured after the Coalition today ruled out a “Son of Collins” submarine, which Labor is keeping on the table in its latest defence white paper.

The white  paper released today rules out an off-the-shelf design for 12 new  submarines, which would be either a more highly-evolved version of the  existing Collins Class boats, or an entirely new, tailor-made, design.

The  paper also commits Australia to the purchase of 12 new “Growler”  electronic warfare fighter jets at a cost of $1.5 billion, while taking a  more conciliatory position on the rise of China than the previous  strategic blueprint in 2009, which warned against China’s growing  military might in the Asia Pacific region.

The document, released  today, rules out an off-the-shelf design for the new submarine fleet to  replace the trouble-plagued Collins Class boats.

“We’ve come to  the conclusion, as reflected by the white paper, that an off-the-shelf  submarine does not give us the strategic or the operational reach that  we need for Australia’s interests as a maritime country and continent,”  Defence Minister Stephen Smith said.

He said Australia had gained  intellectual rights to the Collins Class design, “so we’ll progress  that”, while the alternative was a wholly new design.

Whatever the design, the fleet would be built in South Australia and be installed with US combat systems.

Opposition defence spokesman David Johnston said a new design could present problems, but the Collins Class design should be avoided at all costs.

“You know, I wouldn’t want to go back near Collins if it was the last thing on earth that we had to do” he said.

“I think Collins has been a very expensive disaster.”

Minister Smith and Julia Gillard said the upcoming May budget would include a modest rise in defence spending, after last year’s cut.

Mr Smith confirmed the government aspired to lift defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP, subject to economic circumstances.

“What we have discovered over the time since then is it is very difficult, if not impossible, to map out precise funding for defence or any other area of government when you are facing changing economic and fiscal circumstances,” Mr Smith said.

“In this case, it is called the global financial crisis … the adverse consequences of which are ongoing,” he said.

Senator Johnston said the Coalition had a similar target, but it also had a plan to get there by lifting defence spending by 3 per cent a year.

He attacked the white paper for its lack of financial detail, saying the Coalition would redo the white paper in office, including the full cost of hardware procurement.

“What sort of a plan is this when the department cannot or is not permitted to put a dollar figure on any of these acquisitions?” he said.

“We have the biggest capital works program, not just in defence’s history but in commonwealth history, (and) there is no plan, no schedule, no money. So where does that leave 12 submarines?”

Defence Force Chief General David Hurley said he believed there had been a good budget process given the reality of the government’s fiscal position, which preserved defence capability into the future.

“I think this has been a good outcome for all,” he said.

The purchase of the 12 new Growler aircraft is a change of plan for the government, which had intended to refit 12 of its fleet of 24 Super Hornets as Growlers.

The government says that will not affect plans to buy around 100 fifth generation Joint Strike Fighters.

The government will also bring forward replacement of the navy’s Armidale Class patrol boats, which have been heavily used on border protection operations across Northern Australia.

Replacement supply ships may be built in Australia to replace HMAS Sirius and HMAS Success.

The white paper makes no commitment to acquiring a fourth air warfare destroyer.

Neither does it make a firm decision on long-running proposals to acquire long-range surveillance drones to watch over Australia’s northwest.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the white paper was a “long list of acquisitions without the money to pay for it”.

“The reality is this government talks a good game on defence, but defence spending as a proportion of GDP is at the lowest level since 1938,” Mr Abbott said.

But a leading defence analyst says the new white paper fixes some of the errors of the 2009 document and does a far better job of matching capability with available resources.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute defence capability expert Dr Andrew Davies said some unnecessary capabilities, such as offshore patrol combatant vessels, had gone, while the number of Joint Strike Fighters had been scaled back from 100 to 72, with future governments able to opt for more.

“Resources and aspiration have come back closer. It remains to be seen whether they will match but it’s certainly closer than it was four years ago. Let’s give credit where it’s due. This fixes some of the errors of the last one.”

Source – The Australian