Friday, June 27, 2014

Submarine Questions of the Week - 27 JUN 14


In a comment about Australia's replacements for Collins-class subs M.E. had recently noted that the average height of a Japanese male is 7.4 cm shorter than that of the average Australian male.

To qualify for service aboard the early submarine ( photo below ) sailors had to be under 160 centimeters (about 5 feet 3 inches) in height. 

Today's QOTW relate specifically to two submarines and the mystery device that dwarfs men (indicated by 4 white asterisks) working on a more contemporary object ( photo B ).


1 -  Identify the submarine in photo A  (name, nationality, & year launched). 
2 -  Crew height restriction (< 160 cm) for this early sub were necessitated by space belowdecks.
      How many crew were aboard when it met its unknown fate?
3 -  What year was it lost?

4 -  Identify the mystery object shown in photo B.
   - a) What is its purpose?
   - b) What nation is using it, and how many are in service.
5 - What kinds of work are being performed by the figures shown (choose c, d, or e): 
   - c)  administrative, clerical, photographic
   - d)  wrangling
   - e)  pescatorial

One of the shortest men in CSS Hunley's final crew of 8 men was of above average height for the 1860s period.
6 - What was the inside diameter of Hunley's crew compartment?
7 - How tall was the Hunley crewman known by the name Miller?

ANSWERS:  Wednesday, 2 JUL 2014

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Civilians sleep unaware of Onyx and Bolid threats

Notes:  Onyx (or Oniks) is Russia's non-export, supersonic missile.  One of the slower, low-range export versions ( Yahkont)  is shown below.  A submarine-launched encapsulated version known as Bolid also exists.  LINKS TO AUTHENTIC IMAGINES OF the more  top--secretive Bolide (Submarine version) are INVITED from ASTUTE READERS.  Bold and color text emphases were added by M.E.'s:

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Sleep well, complacent souls, atuned to 'reality' TV and sports pages, but consider this unsettling Q&A regarding [U.S.] Naval defenses to counter P-800 Oniks and SS-N-22 (older technology),  source Defence Talk Forum
"The Fifth Fleet was involved with the Millennium Challenge 2002 live exercises and computer simulations. The operations were one of the largest wargames ever conducted. At the end of the exercises, designed to test defences from new anti-ship cruise missiles such as the P-800 Oniks and the SS-N-22, the Fifth Fleet was sunk. ... 2. Do we have the technology now (2008-2009) to counter these ship sinkers yet?"
partial RESPONSE
"...What was important is the red force was able to achieve complete surprise against the blue force with a massive barrage of sea skimming missiles. That is the first thing they knew about it was lots of missiles in the air and the blue force was not postured to deal with it. ..."

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Mar 19, 2012 - 3M55 Oniks / P-800 Yakhont / P-800 Bolid / SS-N-26 
by Global

"The P-800 Bolid is the encapsulated, submarine launched version of Yakhont. An air-launched version of the missile with the take-off weight of 2,500 kg (5,507 lb.) was also developed. The closest American counterparts, the Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles, are subsonic; the best French antiship missile, the Exocet, has a range of only 45 miles." ...

"The homing head is an onboard two-channel active/passive radar with a complex wide-band coherent signal with a phase-code manipulation in compliance with the random law both during surveillance and tracking in an active operation mode. The homing head re-adjusts frequencies and time parameters. It is highly immune to various active countermeasures that affect the operating range and angle coordinates."


August 9, 2013 -  Yasen-class nuclear attack submarines to give Russia major edge
by   Dmitry Litovkin

'Wolf pack’

But it’s not its high speed or the protection of its homing device against electronic countermeasures that makes the Onyx a super-modern weapon.

Once it is launched from the submarine, the missile finds the target by itself. After determining their coordinates, the missiles ‘wait’ until the last one is out of the launch tubes and then line up, just like a wolf pack, and begin to ‘home in on their prey’. The designers are not really advertising this point, but it’s the missiles themselves that decide which missile attacks which target and how. The missile ‘
[wolf]pack’ decides these targets, classifies them in terms of importance, and selects the tactics for the attack and the plan for its execution.

Jun. 17, 2014  Russia Just Christened A Top-Secret Nuclear Submarine
by Alexander Korolkov, Russia Beyond The Headlines

"A multiple launch of 24 of these missiles could present a serious problem even for a U.S. carrier force with a powerful air defense system."

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sub "News" Only Insiders May Appreciate

(The Philippine Star) | Updated June 12, 2014 - 12:00am  Aussie submarine surfaces off Samar
[Cropped photos are shown below; the one on the right accompanied the actual news article and was captioned as shown.  Obviously, the photo at right is not of any Australian submarine class. Note the dual dry deck shelters, pitched foredeck and fairwater plane tapering of the U.S. Ohio class sub (on the right).]

[color emphasis mine]
"The Australian sub unloaded a patient, who was not identified. Information about the submarine’s origin was not immediately available." ...  [the text indicates the sub's unavailable origin as Australia] ...

Navy public affairs chief Cdr. Gregory Fabic said the Australian armed forces attaché called them on Sunday requesting for a medical evacuation.

“Basically, the sub was in transit when they requested the medical evacuation. They were in international waters,” Fabic said.

A Philippine Navy ship met
[DF 339, verified] with the Australian submarine Sunday to evacuate the ailing sailor.

The patient was brought to the Tacloban Doctors Hospital and later moved to Manila for further treatment. “He is now in stable condition,” Fabic added.


M.E. is not being critical of a humanitarian rescue by a genuine ally.  A more accurate report (without photo) from the Manila Standard Today was easily found online here.  We should be comforted that a female MSM journalist has not misreported that a sub-based U.S. SEAL TEAM operation of Samar Island (central P.I.) in which an injured sailor was executed by the Taliban.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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