HMS Vanguard, "Container" Sub Theory
Is a submarine a container? Yes and no. Any vessel is a container of sorts. Was the French Defense Minister kind in labeling HMS Vanguard probably a container? No, in naval (military) etiqutte container exceeds rust bucket in degree of insult:
Pendant son retour de patrouille, le SNLE Le Triomphant a heurté, en plongée, un objet immergé (probablement un conteneur). source translated: French defence minister reported that Triomphant (S 616) "collided with an immersed object (probably a container)"
Were the French and UK boomers really involved in a highly embarrassing collision at sea?
Well, M.E. was not there. This TIME CNN account does not obtain for obvious reasons: Did France's Secrecy Cause a Nuclear Submarine Collision? Decidedly not.
If France does not share strategic operating areas with NATO, why would the UK share same with France? They would not. So, how can the aricle conclude France's secrecy was at fault?
“Both the Vanguard and Le Triomphant are among the most silent submarines ever developed,” Bruno Tertrais, a senior researcher at the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research, said today in a telephone interview. “The Atlantic is a big place, but coincidences can happen.” ...The British military said the nuclear-powered submarines “came into contact at very low speeds.”
...“This is a nuclear nightmare of the highest order,” Kate Hudson, chairwoman of the London-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said in statement on the group’s Web Site. source
What really happened is some very bad press has been generated for extremely costly nuclear missile submarine forces of 2 EU countries, both currently debating whether or not to fund their respective programs into the future. The bad press would likely have been intended to help political opponents of military spending in France and the U.K. kill the funding.
Are there still other possibilities? Yes. If M.E. had to guess at this point, UK equipment failure would be high on the list.
Consider mutual agreement between France and the UK to conduct a low speed collision. Beyond the pale? In the current financial crisis, think of the money each country would save saved by abandoning boomer subs. Hmmm!