Thursday, April 01, 2010

Russian Submarine Not Too Secret Facts for April 1st

Last Friday, we compared Russian submarine crew complements to certain U.S. counterparts. Interestingly, after 145 years of submarining, the ratio of officers to men is the same for the Confederate Hunley (1:7) as for the modern marvel, USS Seawolf (SSN-21).

Two Russian sub classes, however, Alphas and the radically new Severodvinsk had/will have opposite or highly contrasting ratios of about 7:1 and 1:1, respectively. To understand why, we must first realize the makeup of the Russian navy. Russia's naval manpower is comprised of conscripts serving one year terms and volunteers (Officers and Ratings). As of 2008 the conscription term had been reduced to one year.

Most could agree it might be a losing proposition to send one-year conscripts on highly secretive submarine missions while trying to maintain a high degree of national security; so apparently do Russian admirals.

But there are even more startling claims concerning the Severodvinsk due to be launched in May of this year (we will not hold our breath)...

The submarine will have a crew of 50, suggesting a high degree of automation in the submarine's different systems. The newest U.S. attack sub, the Virginia-class submarine, has a crew of 134 in comparison. If true, this might imply that many of the automated equipment could have been developed from the highly automated project 705 Lira, which is considered as the most automated nuclear attack submarine of all times (the entire half of the boat with reactor and propulsion was unmanned and controlled from the control room). source

More about the Severodvinsk class from GlobalSecurity.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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