Thoughts to excite, alarm or foil paradigms, senses of humor, and imagination although not always in that order. "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." -Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics 1965.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
One Submarine Fleet's Surprising Recovery
BackgroundCanada's fleet of 4 Victoria class subs, British-made vessels bought in 1988 for as a package for $750-million, had been plagued with hefty maintenance issues.
From November 2007:
Canada's four Victoria-class, diesel boats are capable of only limited operations in arctic waters and options include extensively upgrading them or buying new ones capable of prolonged, under-ice ops. 'Nobody knows precisely where it's going, but it looks to be focused on the Arctic.' said Eric Lerhe, a former commodore and Pacific fleet commander. The Prime Minister's Office is considering whether to "scrap them altogether, upgrade the existing boats or buy new," said a political source. -THE CANADIAN PRESS
From November 2013:
(the caption - see photo accompanying photo in linked article - says, "By the time Canada's submarines are ready for duty, they'll be due for retirement.")
Defence Minister Peter MacKay blames the Liberals for Canada’s troubled fleet of second-hand Victoria-class submarines. It was the Liberals who purchased the four . Yet it was none other than MacKay himself who, 10 years later, persuaded his Conservative colleagues not to scrap them. It was MacKay who signed taxpayers up for another $1.5-billion worth of refits and repairs, thereby throwing good money after bad. It was apparent long before 2008 that the submarines were deeply flawed. The diesel engines were designed for railroad locomotives and not the rapid stops and starts required of submarines. [red and underlined emphasis is mine]- National Post.com
UPDATE February 2015
The fleet of Victoria-class subs is now fit, with three of four submarines available for operations, according to the Royal Canadian Navy's Feb 2015 state of the fleet announcement.
HMCS Windsor, Victoria and Chicoutimi operated a cumulative total of about 260 at-sea days during 2014. HMCS Corner Brook is currently docked at Victoria Shipyards for extended dry dock availability until 2017 [under ice?].
Canadian submarines generally work an operational cycle in which each s available to the fleet for six years, the so-called "operational period", followed by two years of major maintenance work during a period prolonged dry dock, says the Royal Canadian Navy in its state of the fleet.
Small size and extremely quiet, diesel-electric propulsion equip the Victoria class for stealth and increased maneuverability [under ice?].
They have advantages in certain conditions with respect to nuclear submarines, especially on the coasts and in strategic choke points, which makes them a valuable asset for Canada and our international partners in the coming years.
Submarines are always silent and strange.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Provocative Submarine Q.O.T.W. - 21 FEB 2015
BackgroundThis week's QOTW takes another look at the Navy's Ice Exercise (ICEX). Some of the questions, as well as answers provoke critical thoughts among both sub aficionados and enthusiasts who can read between lines.
Questions of the Week1 - Taking place during peacetime, what year marked the "first ICEX" according to the USN, and what submarine inaugurated such missioins (name and hull number)?
2 - ICEXs nowadays have been highly classified. How highly classified was the "first ICEX"?
3 - What was one of the primary objectives of the "first ICEX"?
4 - What are some newer ICEX's objectives today?
5 - What ICEX of the current decade publicly demonstrated a strong U.S. intention to maintain a superior commitment to submarine know-how and training?
6 - Generally, how often are Arctic ICEX exercises conducted publicly?
7 - There is a special reason east coast submarines participate in ICEXs; what might their participation illustrate to potential adversaries?
8 - Subsequent ICEX deployments involved both scientific and tactical exercises. What foreign navy has most often joined with the U.S. in arctic tactical exercises?
9 - For at least one ICEX since 2000, a sub's culinary specialists planned having a rather large btu-value of food available for each crew member. How much per person was this (in calories)?
10 - The first Sturgeon class submarine capable of shooting both TLAM and TLAM-N missiles participated in an ICEX. In what year was that ICEX, what was that sub?
11 - It may strike the uninitiated as odd that subs from our arctic ally Canada have not participated in ICEXs; what is the reason?
ANSWERS: Monday, March 2nd
Submarines are always silentrange.