Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Submarine Too Strange to Really Believe

Background

This post is certainly NOT about the USS JIMMY CARTER (SSN-23).  For prposes of contrast Vigilis notes a recent article The Navy's Most Shadowy Spy Is 450 Feet Long & Named After Jimmy Carter, for readers to consider in relation to what will follow. Although the key point of this background lies in the last sentence of this section, lets start with this SSN-23 image.
 

"So what does the Jimmy Carter do with all its modifications? Like its USS Halibut, USS Seawolf, USS Richard Russell and USS Parche [and perhaps others never publicly acknowledged], which were modified ‘special mission’ subs that came before it, the Jimmy Carter conducts espionage, and could even conduct sabotage, in a variety of manners" 

Remember, all submarines are intended to be "SLIENT AND STRANGE".  Whether you remain mystified by the utility of some or all of the "shadowy" features illustrated above, the link confirms only what cannot be refuted by widely available photographic evidence, which is:

The Jimmy Carter differs from the standard Seawolf Class submarine via a slew of modifications made during her initial construction, including a "massive 100-foot long hull extension".

The Strangeness of the S-80 

Again, lets start with an image of the Spanish Navy's yet-to-be-completed, domestically constructed (by Navantia, Cartagena) S-80 sub.


Construction on the S-80 class submarines began in early 2005. The keel for the first submarine was laid and the steel for the second submarine was cut in December 2007. Construction of the third submarine began in 2009.    VIGILIS NOTES: Wasted space in bow?

Strangeness (should we believe any of it?)
  •  In May 2013, Navantia announced that a serious weight imbalance design flaw had been identified which will delay the delivery of the first submarine to the Spanish Navy until possibly 2017.[15] Excess weight of 75 - 100 tons has been added to the sub during construction and the current design is not able to resurface after diving.[16][17] A former Spanish official says the problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place or by the addition of new technologic devices.[18] 
  •  In June 2013, with the S-80 project suffering from an underperforming AIP system (allowing 21 days underway versus 28 planned) the Spanish Ministry of Defense announced that Navantia had signed the U.S.'s General Dynamics Electric Boat to help solve the excess weight problem.[19] 
  • In November 2014, Navantia again reported having completed the redesign work to address the problem of overweight. In all, the hull will be lengthened by seven metres, and the displacement increased by 75 tons. The intended delivery date of the first submarine will be is 2018. [21]
  •  In April 2015, 70 batteries for the new submarine, worth € 469,000 were stolen. They were recovered by the Guardia Civil in an operation that led to the arrest of five people including the head of Zaragoza recycling companies.
So, nothing totally implausible has reportedly happened. Yet, why would Navantia solicit General Dynamics Electric Boat to solve ballasting problems (which engineers in Spain's fine universities could certainly have done)?  In fact, the original engineer's work could have been verified and regularly updated (and probably was)! 

Such embarrassing lapses (including stolen batteries) would ordinarily not bode well for any country's sub force. Perhaps Spain's unfortuitous delays and HULL EXTENSION are cover stories for an updated capability that is slightly shadowy and secret.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Answers to latest Submarine Questions of the Week

Background

Related information, photos and links for questions are found at original posting.


Questions of the Week with ANSWERS

1 - TRUE or FALSE: There was no Son Won I class?   ANSTRUE

2-  TRUE or FALSE: KSS designates the project to build up the Republic of Korea's Navy Attack Submarine program in phases KSS-I, KSS-II, and KSS-III?   ANSTRUE


3- TRUE or FALSE: In KSS-II (the second phase) the lead ship of her class, ROKS Son Won-il (SS 072) was launched in 2006, the first of nine 1,800-ton Type 214 AIP subs?  ANSTRUE


4- TRUE or FALSE:  A total of nine 3,000-ton KSS-III submarines are expected to be built in South Korea with indigenous technologies (i.e. not going under license as the previous KSS-I and KSS-II submarines).   ANSTRUE


5- TRUE or FALSE: The first KSS-III, with vertical launch tubes and 1,500-kilometer cruise missiles, is scheduled for service by 2022.   ANSTRUE


6- TRUE or FALSE:  Due to sensitive technologies the KSS-IIIs will be built indigenously and likely blocked from export.   ANSTRUE


7-  In February 2015, South Korea launched an independent submarine command — only the sixth of its kind in the world — bringing operations, logistics, training, and maintenance under one roof, according to Republic of Korea (ROK) naval officials. What are the other 5 nations with independent submarine commands?   ANS
The United States, Japan, France, the United Kingdom and India operate submarine commands

8.  Name the late officer pictured (available at link in Background statement above).  ANS: Son Won-il.

- a) What, if anything does he have to do with the Son Won II class?   ANSIn honor of Son Won-il, the Reuplic of Korea's  Son Won-il (SS 072), the first of Son Won-il class submarines, was named for him.

- b) Was he ever a submariner?   ANS: No.

- c) What were the highest naval rank and national office he had held?  ANSVice Admiral Son Won-il had been South Korea's FIRST Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and later served as as its Minister of National Defense, and first ambassador to West Germany.
 
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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