Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Halloween Hypothesis

Background (from October 31, 2013)

US submarine collisions in 21st Century to date:
    2001 USS Greeneville (SSN-772)
    2002 USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723)
    2003 USS Hartford (SSN-768) grounding (#1)
    2005 USS San Francisco (SSN-711) with seamountain
    2005 USS Philadelphia (SSN-690)
    2007 USS Newport News (SSN-750)
    2009 USS Hartford with USS New Orleans (#2)
    2012 USS Montpelier (SSN-765)

 Belated Addendum:
    2013 USS Jacksonville (SSN-690)  

Related NEWS  (March 2, 2016)

Lockheed to Provide Submarine Situational Awareness System 
Gobbledygook: "The LCCA is a passive planar array mounted on the aft submarine sail structure that is integrated with the Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-The-Shelf Insertion AN/BQQ-25 systemto provide situational awareness and collision avoidance for improved tactical control in high density environments."
What ever happened to performance and alertness in U.S. submariners ?  Choose the answer(s) that best fit what the Navy confronts:
  1. Back in the day, basic submarine seamanship had been a largely analog task relying on sonar, radar, and either lookouts or periscope data gathereing.
  2. In the modern, digital age, analog tasks and basic seamanship are downplayed in  preference to technical skills. Hence, today's sailors are both more comfortable with, reliant upon, and prepared to expect digitized evaluations of ship situational awareness.
  3. The shipping environment for subs is more chaotic these days due to higher traffic concentrations and the potential for more bad guys who like like civilians.
  4. Sailors might not have been getting enough rest due to bizarre watch schedules and less than ideal lighting.
ANSWER: All of the above. 

M.E. Observation:  
Two low cost conformal array (LCCA) production units, spare modules and spare outboard electronics canisters will be tested on two selected subs for a few years to gage how well, if at all, LCCA can help crews avoid near misses and hits (collisions).  If LCCA is determined to be effective in real-life conditions for which it is being touted, Navy will decide whether to update the sub fleet. 

PREDICTIONMeaningful success cannot be achieved short of improved crew alertness and performance.

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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