Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 30 JUL 2014

Background
Project 941 or Akula, Russian "Акула" ("Shark") class submarine (NATO reporting name: Typhoon) is a  ballistic missile sub built during the Cold War.  The 6th and last Typhoon was TK 20 Severstal, named for the Russian City by the same name (Северсталь, "Northern Steel")
  • Commander: A.Bogachev (2001).
  • In reserve since 2004.  Will be scrapped in 2018-2020., according to report by RIA Novosti [18]
(Answers to the following Q.O.T.W.  as well as issues raised in earlier M.E. posts, in 2008 and in 2009, may be found in are suggested by this) documentary film on YouTube:

Pure History Specials - Secret Russian Sub - Mission Invisible  (53:35)  
Together with Alexander Bogachev and his 130 man crew, we will dive into the abyss of the cold, lonely ocean for a full -scale top secret military mission. For the very first time, we will witness the crew as they practice for emergencies of all types as well as an authentic fire alarm during the mission.   

Western submarine aficcianados who have not seen this film are almost guaranteed to learn something new about the Russian service, the very least of which may be some pure propaganda.

Q.O.T.W.
The Secret arctic, Russian military base
1.  Name the Russian base that "does not appear on maps" and where is it located?
2.  What purpose did the base serve for Typhoon subs?
3.  What special climate advantage does the base allegedly offer?

Crew safety and escape
4. The portable breathing devices carried by crew hold enough air for how many minutes?
5. Two methods of crew escape are mentioned in the film. The first was via a torpedo tube wearing a special suit. From what maximum depth can this method be used?
6. The other method permits many crew to ascend from a disable sub togetyer --- how?

Miscellany
7. The film's  soundtrack, which we hear periodically, is based upon a classical piece. Name the title and composer of the classical piece.
8.  Executive officer Bogachev is a central character, although other officers and conscripts speak
briefly.  The film contrasts X.O. Bogachev's reception at his flat with that of another senior officer and implies what?
9.  Apparently, a medical doctor serves aboard Russian missile subs to perform surgery, etc. For what malady was Bogachev treated?  Was it contagious?
10. Which of the following crew luxuries were shown:
a) caviar
b) vodka
c) sauna room
d) smoking room
e) female pin-up
f) rocking chairs
11. Russian officers and NCOs were shown dining with conscripts. Yes or No?
12. The ritual for becoming a certificated member of a Russian crew entails drinking a cup of seawater collected at what depth?


ANSWERSAfter the 6th of  August.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Update: 2008 Main Hydraulic Failure


Almost exactly six years ago we published Caruso's "Two Minutes Before Main Hydraulic Failure".

Now, there is more:  "2 USAF missileers to work with Navy in morale-improvement effort"

They’re Air Force missileers, but their next assignments are with the Navy. ...

They are the first to be selected for the new Striker Trident program — one of the Air Force’s efforts to improve morale in the nuclear force.
As part of a high-profile investigation into cheating by nuclear missile officers on a monthly proficiency exam,Air Force officials formed a team of experts to interview officers about morale issues plaguing the career field.  ... Jointly developed by the Air Force and Navy, the program will rotate up to four missile and nuclear operations officers in three-year assignments with naval submarine commands.  ... Because the assignments are to command staff, and not actually to a submarine crew, there are no gender constraints associated, Global Strike Command spokeswoman Kathryn Blais told Air Force Times.
We want to give our 13Ns the opportunity to gain some valuable cross-service experience in preparation for future joint assignments,” Capt. Tracy Prey, chief of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Operations Command and Control Programs for Global Strike Command’s operations directorate, said in a release.

And Submariners probably thought 13 was an unlucky number!  Suggestions to Air Force: drop the Mickey Mouse term 'Missileeers' to start improving morale and redesignate 13Ns to 132Ns.  

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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