Tuesday, February 27, 2007

First, There Was Ramming Speed

By 1210 BC, the first recorded naval battle was fought between Suppiluliuma II, king of the Hittites, and Cyprus. Before crossbows and black powder had been invented by China, early navies relied on ramming to sink enemy vessels. Explosive ramming (with spar torpedo) was not used successfully until the H. L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic in 1864.

Ramming Speed
Human oar power with slaves or volunteers limited ramming speeds to the single digits (about 4 mph for the semi-submerged Hunley).

Conventional Submerged Speed from Wikipedia rumor source
Due to the stealth nature of miltary vessels the following rumors are unconfirmed and most certainly are somewhat suspect:
The Alfa class submarine, reportedly attained short speed bursts of 44.7 knots (51 mph) while submerged. The British Spearfish torpedo designed to counter high speed Russian submarines, such as the Alfa class, is rumored to have a speed in excess of 70 knots (80 mph).

Cramming (In Bubbles) Speed ibid. Wiki source
The Russian rocket-powered supercavitating torpedo VA-111 Shkval is reportedly capable of speeds in excess of 200 knots (230 mph). The US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) began the Underwater Express program in 2005 to research applications of supercavitation. DARPA awarded contracts under the program to General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman in 2006. Research is now taking place at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (Newport, Rhode Island, USA) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (San Diego, California, USA).

Warp Speed (Not Available)
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the warp drive is faster-than-light propulsion portrayed as propelling spacecraft to many multiples the speed of light (about 299,792,458 m/s).


Sunday, February 25, 2007

From Iran's Stressed Out Admiral

As the impact of escalating pressures placed on Iran begin to sink in, Rear Admiral Sajjad Kuchaki, commander of Iran's Navy, makes increasingly bizarre statements.

Noting the tragic deaths of two crewmen swept overboard in rough seas as the fast-attack submarine USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul left Plymouth harbor last December, Rear Admiral Sajjad Kuchaki remarked that the presence of submarine crew members on decks is strictly forbidden at time of departure.

What he failed to say (found here): Iran's navy has 23,600 young and inexperienced men, mostly riflemen and marines based on Persian Gulf islands. Resources and vessel upkeep are scarce. Due to such shortcomings, Iran's three Kilo-class submarines are very vulnerable, and limited to laying mines in undefended waters. Eight mini-submarines were purchased from North Korea in 1993 and fifteen semisubmersible gunboats for special operations were sent in late 2002.

Considering that Iran's submariners deploy in such vulnerable deathtraps, it is obvious why crews are not allowed topside during departures. How many Iranian submariners would defect overboard, if allowed to remain topside prior to departure?

Other Bizarre Comments by Admiral Sajjad Kuchaki

Originally published 9/25/2006 by Mardom Salari in Persian Commander of Navy: New Generation of Iranian-Made Submarines Will Be Launched in Persian Gulf

Regarding the sea overall naval defense strategy, the admiral stated: The strategy is based on the divine, defensive human who has succeeded in hard training, discipline, and conviction, and has characteristics such as combating the enemy.

And, with regard to the issue of electronic smart systems and radars: We have surpassed the enemy's limit of 26 gigahertz. The U.S. and its allies are limited to 26 gigahertz? Not according to this, for submarines, for instance.

Finally, the admiral said this Originally published 11/27/2006 by Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio 1 in Persian We have all the enemy units, the units of the occupying forces in the region, under close control.

The United States is not going to attack Iran overtly. It does not need to attack Iran to prevent nuclear weapons competence. Stressing Iran out militarily, diplomatically, politically, and economically is all the U.S. needs pursue. Iran's military, scientists and leadership will incur everyday accidents of their own making, reflecting their inexperience, incompetence and inability to endure stress and internal dissidents who may receive covert help. The effects of the cumulative stress seem copiously evident in Iran's leaders even now.



Friday, February 23, 2007

The Shaken Sheik and the Charmed Contrast

The U-96 was commissioned in September 1940 and went on 11 patrols in the Atlantic Ocean before it was sunk in March 1945 during a U.S. bombing raid on the port city of Wilhelmshaven.
According to German naval records, the boat was a rarity among the submarine fleet because it suffered no casualties during its 11 wartime patrols:

BERLIN -- Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the German author and art collector best known for his autobiographical novel, "Das Boot," has died at the age of 89, his museum and the office of the governor of Bavaria said.

Serving in the deadly German U-boot navy as a reporter during World War II, Buchheim took part in submarine operations in the Atlantic and Straits of Gibraltar, documenting his time aboard the U-96. He photographed and wrote about his experience for propaganda purposes later writing "Das Boot." He also wrote a three-volume nonfiction work, "U-Boat Krieg" or "U-Boat War," that featured more than 5,000 photos he took aboard the U-96.

On the otherhand, typical of Islamist lies, is Sheik Barack Hussein Obama. If Obama had half the intelligence he presumes, he would have been familiar with this historical bit of public intelligence, which has included shared strategic nuclear ballistic submarine technology since the early 1950s and notice to the U.S. of Britain's Falkland War. Alas, my lawyer sheik, you are not as prepared to be leader of infidels as you masquerade. You are, however, eminently qualified to deceive Islamists.

You have no chance at U.S. presidency, Sheik Hussein Obama. Other than that, you seem to be a very nice lawyer and typical politician.



Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stealthy Iran: Beyond Submarine Periscopes not SEALs

According to Iran's Tehran-e Emrouz, plans have been put in place for a female-only island in the north-west of Iran. Officially, Iran wants the island to boost tourism under strict Islamic laws. Taking photos (or publishing satellite photos) of Islamic women who have removed their headscarves and donned swimming costumes would incite worldwide riots worse than Mohammed's cartoons, however.

Actually, the story is part of secretive plans to innocently explain heavy equipment (purportedly for road and tourist hotel construction) and increased traffic movements to and from the remote mountainous region around landlocked Lake Urmia (salinity second only to the Dead Sea's).

While the world assumes Iran's all-female beach will be located at a coastal resort, it will actually be stuck on a forsaken spot visible only from spy satellites. Perhaps this will serve Iran's peaceful nuclear weapons related activity in an area near Iraq's border. Imagine that.
Does Iran have real beach resorts on the Persian Gulf coast? Of course, Iran has resorts like those at Kish Island (women in photo above). Iran's current leadership is attempting to fool coalition intelligence professionals, it will ultimately confuse its own females. That is your problem, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.



Hillary Clinton: Hyper Screaching Hypocrite

Sen. Hillary Clinton made these two innocuous statements recently:

I think my husband was a good president.

I relied on personal sources I trusted before voting for the war in Iraq.

Mrs. Clinton, was President Clinton one of your trusted sources, or not?

"The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life." - WILLIAM J. CLINTON, The Iraq Liberation Act, October 31, 1998.

Hat tip: Noble Eagle

Codified in note to 22 USCS ยง 2151. The Iraq Liberation Act is a United States Congressional statement of policy calling for regime change in Iraq.

If Sen. Clinton were to become president, choice of Serpent Head (aka James Carville) to be her first Supreme Court nominee would not be that difficult.

If Hillary gets the nomination, her running mate will not be: another lawyer (sorry, John E.); another female (sorry Mary L.); another Northener (sorry John K.); another Methodist (sorry again, John E. and Alcee Hastings); another Clinton (sorry, Bill and Chelsea); or another egotistical, pathological liar (sorry, Al G.).

Who will be her running mate? (hint: from the South)



Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not Authorized for U.S. Submarines

New UN radiation symbol

The new symbol (shown above) will be concealed in normal use, apparent only when someone attempts to open a housing shielding a large source of ionizing radiation. The improved symbol will supplement the familiar three-cornered trefoil, which has little intuitive meaning, or recognition value to those not educated to its significance. . It will not appear on building access doors, transportation packages or containers. Testing in 11 countries validated the new symbol,
intended for IAEA Category 1, 2 and 3 sources defined as capable of death or serious injury, including food irradiators, cancer therapy, and industrial radiography units.
Robotic Rare Bird Watcher (RRBM)
A deliberately conspicuous radiation hazard sticker is displayed on the RRBM as a warning to prevent hunters from using it for target practice. Ornithologists in Arkansas have deployed a robot to spot elusive ivory-billed woodpeckers. The RRBM (photo in this article) uses two video cameras aimed skyward to capture continuous, two-megapixel images for evidence of the rare birds. Advanced algorithms analyse each frame, discarding images without birds and saving those that may capture one. It's been running for three months continuously now and it only keeps one image in every 10,000 it collects, said Dr Ken Goldberg of the University of California, Berkeley, who developed the system.
White House menus showcase U.S. Wines
More than 30 heads of state and the nation's governors among others, have dined with President Bush, on such delectables as rack of lamb with pistachio nut crust, celery broth with crispy shrimp and warm pear souffle with caramel sauce and chocolate macaroons.

At the White House, the best of everything is expected. Such elaborate meals are prepared by executive chef Cristeta Comerford, who also whips up more casual fare in her role as chief cook for the president and his family. Menus feature heavy use of American ingredients. The wine choices include some boutique labels not widely available, such as 2001 Paloma Merlot and 2003 Greg Norman Chardonnay. Diligent research will reveal others. Finding them for sale reasonably be the fun game.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Naval Undersea Warfare Coffee Cup Demo

Exactly thirty-three years ago this month, the Naval Undersea Warfare detachment in Hawaii performed a demonstration that had previously been very impractical. A common styrofoam coffee cup was lowered to a depth of 15,000 feet into the ocean off Hawaii. The recorded sea pressure at this depth was 6,674 PSI (exceeding 3 tons per square inch).
Results of the demonstration were recorded for posterity in a wood-framed and brass shadow box (photo). That is a good thing because these days the tiny cup has the consistency of a coarse powder held together only by gravity and some weaker nuclear force.

We may safely assume that the coffee cup used had been 8-oz., since the advent of supersizing would not come until a decade or two later. Shown with the test cup is a modern 8-oz. coffee cup.
Virtually all of the air pockets in the porous, styrofoam cup were eliminated by sea pressure acting uniformly in all directions at once. For this reason, the cups shape was not destroyed, but it was compressed to about 1/3 its original height and 1/10 of its original volume.
Has anyone else seen this display? Perhaps one of you were present during the demonstration.
This little story is not finished yet. Submarines are always silent and strange.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Female Submarine Crew Inadvisability Underscored

In October 2005, Molten Eagle offered this: Female Submarine Crew Advisability. Now, NASA has an embarrassing problem with one of its astronettes, also a Captain, USN.

This much may now be clear:
NASA's psychological screening for its astronaut program probably did not differentiate adequately between male and female applicants. This may have been due to simple historical precedent (original astronauts had only been male). More likely, the failing was not an oversight so much as an intended result of a "politically correct view." The PC view holds that gender differences are inconsequential to job performance. The same thinking not only paved the way for very bright and physically fit women to enter the astronaut program, it ushered in fast track mechanisms for achieving rank and opportunities that are usually exrtremely competitive.

Regarding assigning women crew on U.S. submarines, much has been written. Many with and without impressive submarining experience are against the proposition for a variety of reasons stemming from women's health issues to berthing and privacy requirements. One, for example said: Personally, as an officer, I would not have wanted women on my crew, even if the women were better performers.

Another submarine officer holds a popular contrasting view: My recommendation is that if women must be integrated into the force, they come in as senior officers.

As in Captain. Therein lies the rub. Submarine psychological screening may well have been the basis for NASA's astronaut screening monograph. Imagine the female astronaut, Captain, USN assigned as CO of a ballistic missile submarine (larger vessels which afford more privacy and space needs). Not very funny, is it?

Although one poor example must not be the basis for a generalized conclusion, the single case is enough to invalidate all of the psychological screens used to date for female astonauts.

In fact, it should be a wake up call for a lot of people in high places. Are you listening?

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Monday, February 05, 2007

From Nautilus (1804) through Seawolf (2007)

Christening <> Rarely have commissioned ships borne the name of four predecessors. On such occasions, we can almost be certain of some connection to the USMC. Such was the case with six (6) ships of the United States Navy christened USS Somers, honoring Master Commandant Richard Somers. Somers had commanded the schooner Nautilus (the first of 6 Navy ships with that name) during operations against Tripoli on 18 May 1804. On 4 September 1804, Somers assumed command of fire ship Intrepid which had been fitted to be sailed into Tripoli harbor and exploded among the enemy fleet. Somers and his brave volunteers were killed in a premature explosion. Score one for the terrorists.

Soon, the USS New York (LPD-21) will become the fifth ship in a series of combatants with the name USS New York. The last was a nuclear powered attack submarine, USS New York City (SSN 696), which was decommissioned in 1997.

Missioning <> "It would be fitting if the first mission this ship would go on is to make sure that bin Laden is taken out, his terrorist organization is taken out," said Glenn Clement, a paint foreman. "He came in through the back door and knocked our towers down and (the New York) is coming right through the front door, and we want them to know that."

The latest USS New York will be able to deliver 699 US Marines (66 officers, 633 enlisted and a surge total up to 800 total), launch and recover 4 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or 2 MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft, as well as 2 LCACs (air cushion) or one LCU (conventional), and 14 EFVs, among her other capabilities.

Baiting <> New York Gov. George E. Pataki had written Navy Secretary England requesting the name New York in honor of 9-11 victims. In his letter, Gov. Pataki noted that he understood that the names of states are presently reserved for submarines, but asked for special consideration. His request was approved in 2002. The USS New York's motto is Never Forget, a slogan among New Yorkers since Sept. 11. It was built with 24 tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center. Score one for the coalition.

The latest USS New York will be a natural target for Islamist terrorists based upon her name alone. The only other ship that would have demanded a higher terrorist target priority was the USS America (CV-66), an aircraft carrier decommissioned 1996. The Navy's purposeful sinking of the CV-66 denied a symbolic target of opportunity to the terrorist menace. Score two for the coalition.

Now the bait -the 24,900-ton USS New York is not going to be a decommissioned sitting duck like the USS America. The USS New York will be very capable of defending herself from air, sea and even submarine attacks. She will have twin 30 mm Bushmaster IIs (chain guns) for surface threats and two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense.

What about the submarine threat - Iran's, for instance? The New York will carry a crew of 28 officers, and 333 enlisted. She will probably be among the smallest vessels ever to sail with a nuclear submarine escort of her own at critical times. Perhaps, the 4th submarine to be called USS Seawolf, SSN-21 will accompany her on score three for the coalition and beyond.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

One for the Idaho Bubblehead

Definition Idaho Bubblehead: This former submariner, of course.

Some of you asked where you could find one, so here is a decent (suitable for your Mother) glossary of naval terms linked here. There are too many good ones to list. Surprisingly (maybe not) the one currently at Wikipedia contains a profane term or two.