Answers to Sub Mystery Questions from 19 SEP 2014
1 - There is a very compelling reason that should have discouraged Taiwan from buying 8 US-made diesel subs; what is it? ANS: Bids from seven domestic and foreign companies were received, the FMS [foreign military sales] program was evaluated by the U.S. Navy to cost $10.5 billion, a price tag that led to boycotts of the FMS by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) in Taiwan. Also, a US Council on Foreign Relations commentary said any sale of subs to Taiwan would be too costly and that they are not an effective defensive capability
2 - There is a also a compelling historical reason that should prevent even an Obama administration (with a lawyer in charge of our Navy) from signing onto an FMS (foreign military sales) deal with Taiwan; what is that history? ANS: "Taiwanese military officials have an unfortunate history of passing classified military information into the hands of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),"
(Many former submariners experienced the curious wonder of transiting through a canal in a sub. Unfortunately, a recent canal transit proved more hectic for one submarine.)
3 - Identify the submarine by name. ANS: Tayrona de Colombia (S029), a Type 209, HDW (German-built) sub.
4 - Describe the known damage. ANS: Propeller required replacement and transmission system inspected. Consequently, engines were stopped dead in the water (DIW) in canal, a very vulnerable situation for any naval sub. Unlike Russia (and other submarine powers), however, Colombia's navy quickly acknowledged major repairs and revisions of some of its systems. In 2009, however. Russia's diesel sub Alrosa also had a DIW episode, which Russia immediately attempted to cover-up but failed to hide.
5 - Where was the sub towed for repairs? ANS: Cartagena..after the September 7th incident.
Submarines are always silent and strange.