Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Conflicting, but interesting Submarine Information

From 2006:

Open source [pdf] documents now reveal that an AIP submarine, HMS Gotland, utilizes onboard degaussing technology that is 95% effective. Moreover, the technology is being used routinely not only for submarines but for surface combatants at least since the Gotland's installation, perhaps earlier.

Which elicited new information in a comment:

At 26 July, 2006 00:30, Bubblehead said...
The Seawolf and Virginia class boats have a similar on-board system; as a result, you can't use standard CRT TV screens.
Which makes today's related news article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser significantly lacking: Facility to demagnetize subs completed...

The Navy said it has completed construction of an $84.8 million drive-in submarine magnetic silencing facility at Pearl Harbor. ... Removing the magnetism requires wrapping a submarine with electrical cables and using high current to reset its magnetic signature. The Navy said submarines are depermed about once a year. Three new Virginia-class submarines are based at Pearl Harbor, and more will be assigned to Hawaii in the future.

If expensive degaussing gear is still being installed on newer Virginia class boats, why build this deperming facility? We can certainly guess why--cost containment. Divide the $85 million for a shore installation by $35 million /copy (estimated, for on-boat installations). Heavy copper cabling costs have skyrocketed. Procurement contracts have built-in escalation clauses.
If Seawolf and Virginia class boats all have "a similar on-board system", what submarines is the new facility designed to service?
Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 19 January, 2011 09:23, Blogger Ken Adams said...

Nothing silent or strange about this. The existing MSF in Pearl was designed to handle LA class boats. Deperming is necessary for degaussing to be effective.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2007/Feb/11/ln/FP702110353.html reported on the proposal to build this facility.

At 19 January, 2011 13:48, Blogger Vigilis said...

Thanks for your comment, Ken, and the link to the Honolulu Advertiser article from Feb. 11, 2007. However, the article actually states (3rd para. from bottom):

"The current magnetic silencing facility at Pearl Harbor handles only Los Angeles-class attack submarines, and none of the current Pacific facilities can handle the new Virginia- and Seawolf- class attack submarines."

The mystery continues...


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