Monday, April 15, 2013

Answers for S ubmarine Questions of the Week (4/11/13)

For background information relating to question set A or B see the original posting.

Questions of the Week with Answers

1) - Why are the 2 crests shown above different? ANS: See captions shown below the photos.

Russia will remove the badge and registration number of its submarines during operations and testing,  a senior Russian navy official has announced recently.

2) - What name is given to the second identifier described above (e.g. K-39 or K-414)?  ANS: The alpha-numerica designations have been termed tactical identifiers.

3) - Upon what is the second identifier placed, and where is it located?  ANS: Tactical designations are inscribed on a copper plaque located in the control room (main control area).

4) - What is the current Russian identification convention for submarines, and is it similar to the U.S. convention?  ANS: source
"The Navy submarines have essentially two numbers: onboard and tactical. Onboard number consists of three digits, which is to be changed every two years whereas the tactical number is assigned to the ship immediately after construction and usually stays the same throughout its service."

5) - When was the current Russian identifier convention for submarines enacted?  ANS: source
"According to the newspaper 'Izvestia', the decision was approved in March 2013."

6) - What was the published reason for the current identifier convention? ANS: source
"The military has explained the move to remove the insignia as a measure to complicate the identification by potential enemy ships."

7) - Is the published reason for the current identifier convention the most likely reason?

"The primary objective of operational submarine is to stay hidden from the enemy. The registration and shield, now visible on Russian submarines, are pieces of identification," the official said.  ANS: Hardly (NO); the new practice had already been Soviet Russia's policy as recently as the late 1980s and it has also been the practice of the U.S. Navy's silent service at least as long ago as during WW2.  Example here.

Russia's published justification, while not untrue, is certainly not very revealing. Molten Eagle believes Russia's much improved financial position and ability to construct new subs has rendered the previous practice unnecessary and imprudent.  Russia's renewed submarine stealth policy is intended to mark both her; 1)  Belatedly credible intention to mount serious competition in submarine operations for the first time since the Soviet Union's collapse, and; 2)  Diminished need for city financial sponsorship of submarine construction due to reliable revenues she now receives from foreign energy and military sales. 

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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