Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Coincidence, Flattery and Stealth - Part I

"Imitation is the sincerest of flattery." - Charles Caleb Colton,1820.

Coincidence or immitation?

Sub Commander T'Pol (below right) resembles New Zealand's Maori Ship's Figurehead carved in a much earlier century. Sub-Commander T'Pol, however, was the Vulcan officer in Star Trek: Enterprise.


There is also an historic "Vulcan Hotel" in the NZ goldmining town of St Bathans.

The indigenous language and ancestry of New Zealand is Maori. The word māori means "normal" or "ordinary" in the Māori language and denotes mortal beings as distinct from the gods. A Maori proverb says He tini nga whetu e ngaro I te kapua iti (Translation: Many stars cannot be concealed by a small cloud).

There is an historic "Vulcan Hotel" in the New Zealand goldmining town of St Bathans. 

The Star Trek franchise was created by Gene Roddenberry, who flew WW2 combat missions in the Pacific Theatre. 

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Vive les Differences !

Most submariners know that France recently approved allowing women to serve aboard its nuclear subs, catching up to the United States and the United Kingdom which years ago (2010 and 2011, respectively) permitted mixed crews.

What are Differences? France Acknowledges the obvious:

Excerpted from France's 16 Apr 2014 The Local
  • Women in navies around the world, France included, have been barred from serving on nuclear subs due to concerns over sex and close quarters during the lengthy missions.
  • A new larger class of submarine in France made it possible for separate male and female quarters in the cramped space aboard the vessels. Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian plans to provide separate toilets and living quarters to discourage promiscuity (at least, in the army).
  • French authorities had also admitted a difference in women’s physical capacities, questioning their ability to handle higher levels of carbon dioxide during underwater missions.
  • Finally, unlike the U.S. program counterpart, France's program is not open-ended to accept all qualified women who may wish to apply.  Though the door is now open to women, "the pool of candidates is expected to remain small."
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The ANSWERS: Q.O.T.W. 11 APR 2014

Background information and photo (s) presented when the Questions of the Week (Q.O.T.W.) answered below were originally posted may be found here: Anti-subD 641marine Q.O.T.W. 11 APR 2014.

Q & A

 1.  An "anti-submarine" vessel is shown transiting a "cut". The nation which launched this ship has no destroyers in its entire navy. What are the ship's nationality and type?  ANS:  The ship is the French navy's (Marine Nationale Française). It is a type F70 "anti-submarine" frigate en route to the Black Sea for Ukraine crises.

2.  What are the name, hull number, and top speed of this ship?  ANS: 
MNF Dupleix (D 641) has a top speed of 30 knots.
3.  What is its crew complement (officers and men)?  ANS:  20-22 officers and 145 sailors.

4.  With what anti-submarine equipment is this ship armed?  ANS:  
• 10 L5 Mod4 torpedoes
• 2  L5 torpedo launchers
• 2 Lynx WG13 Mk.4 helicopters, each with DUAV4 sonar, Rheseda system for
acoustic data transmission, and 12 Mark 46 torpedoes

5.  What are the vessel's draft and the canal's mean depth (in feet)?  ANS: 
MNF Dupleix's  draft is 19 ft versus the canal's nominal depth of 26 ft.

6.  What is the purpose of that buoy to which the ship appears tied? ANS:
What appears to be a buoy in last week's photo is actually a canal tug seen from a head-on perspective.

7.  What is the name of the canal and how does its length compare to the Panama Canal?  ANS:  The Corinth Canal's  is 3.9 miles in length (the Panama Canal is 12 times longer at 48).

8.  Did the pictured canal have strategic value in WW2?  ANS: 
Yes, serious damage was inflicted on the canal during World War II by both by both British and Nazi forces, when it was twice the scene of fighting due to strategic importance.

9.  This canal has a fairly unusual submarine feature; what is it?  ANS:
The Canal has submersible bridges [ YouTube video] at either end. When a vessel approaches, the bridges are  submerged allowing ships to proceed.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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