Friday, October 27, 2006

Always Silent and Strange, Sometimes Spurious and Entertaining

Consider this report (U.S.N buys Ruskie sub), brought to my attention by an upstanding contributor to UQNM who correctly questions its authenticity. Ask yourself why the fiscally stressed submarine service would spend $4 million to buy the soviet hulk, K-123:

(Soviet Alfa Class /When: August 8, 1982 / Where: Barents Sea ):
A liquid-metal reactor on K-123 nuclear attack sub sprung a leak, allowing the liquid metal to seep out, solidify, and create a large mass that damaged the internal mechanisms of the reactor. The sub was forced out of commission for eight years.

Such a purchase would have to involve a high military value or level of subterfuge (examples suggested in the next paragraph).

Perhaps UBL has been captured and this is the means of expatriating him to the U.S. for "debriefing'. Perhaps another, high order, submarine espionage event will soon surface and this is a way to harmlessly explain the otherwise implausible. In either case, or in those similar $4 million would be a mere pittance from some "black" budget.

The odd rumor is presented without a verifiable news link. A sampling of comments by regular readers of the reporting site are, well, entertaining:

A rusty bucket from the 70's is a strategic asset 30 years later? (goldorak)

And I hope none of the USN blokes they get to man her want to have anymore children. (diver)

"Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash" (Winston -Wales)

Abandoning such seriousness (turn on your sound): this payback scenario, instructs how to turn the tables on annoying telemarketers we have all encountered.


At 28 October, 2006 10:47, Blogger reddog said...

Do you think someone wants to soup up a hotrod? Those pressure hulls went deep as death and were fast as the wind.

At 28 October, 2006 13:27, Blogger Vigilis said...

Reddog, a titanium hull offers such possibilities unless too degraded by irradiation.

We must assume it has not been degraded (otherwise it would be a disposal liability with scant svrap value), so your thought certainly poses as valid a possibility as anything.

At 28 October, 2006 23:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the life of me, I can't imagine what we could gain by purchasing this submarine. Perhaps our engineers are going to study it's titanium hull, but putting this thing into active service? You gotta be kidding me? I have a hard time taking this news piece serious, at all. This thing has got to be so full of contamination that it'll be beyond use, and they'll have to completely gut it, and put in a conventional reactor to get it back into service - which will cost in the 100's of millions. Somethings not right about this story... Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like throwing the bullshit flag on this one?

At 28 October, 2006 23:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is bullshit - if you scroll down the page, Kapitan, the guy who posted the story says we're all "gullible".

So there you go.

At 29 October, 2006 11:18, Blogger reddog said...

Sonarman is right, of course. The expense of making and keeping an ALPHA class operational would be uncalculable, if it could be done at all and I can't imagine what use it could be.

If the story is not an outright hoax, they probably want it just to dissect and maybe pick up a little data on exotic metal fabrication technique, as regards machinery that might be subjected to extreme depth.

At 29 October, 2006 21:52, Blogger Vigilis said...

No argument from these quarters, reddog.


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