Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saudi Arabia Does may not admit to ...

.... owning or deploying any submarines, but might the Saudis be using even better stealth?


2003       "In an earlier submarine program projected to cost $4 - $6 Billion, Saudi Arabian representatives visited submarine builders Vickers, ILK and Kockums." - "Saudi Arabia enters the twenty-first centuryBy Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.)  

June     2009  Nonexistent Saudi Submarine - Hmmm 

July      2013  Rosoboronexport announced they will offer the Amur 1650 to the Moroccan Navy if they announce a tender for new submarines.
The Amur-class submarine (named for the Amur River), is one of the latest Russian submarine designs. It is advertised as an export version of the Lada-class, a modernised version of the Kilo-class submarine with improved acoustic stealth, new combat systems, and an option for air-independent propulsion (AIP).  ... A totally new main electric engine using permanent magnets is in development/construction and projected to give high energy conversion efficiency even at low cruise speeds.


August 2015 Saudi Arabia to Pay for Submarine Morocco Will Buy from Russia
Cost estimates as high as  $450,000,000 per copy.

The Amur 1650 is capable of carrying 18 missiles, torpedoes, or mines, and can be operated in any oceanic area, except areas with solid ice cover, in all weather conditions, and in shallow and deep waters. 

This could happen during Moroccan King Mohammed VI's visit to Russia at the end of 2015.  – and Riyadh [Saudi Arabia] may foot a bill which begins at $450,000,000, before training, arming and routine maintenance costs.

Suspicious Justifications

One must keep in mind the significance of the Saudi oil industry, who the royal family has long relied upon to protect its defence interests and the threat increased Russian gas supplies to Europe may pose to the Saudi family's economic interests.  Do the following speculations override conventional thinking?  If so, some rather large disruptions may be in store outside of the Middle East.


By acquiring the submarine, Morocco is trying to bolster its navy and compete with its main regional rival Algeria, which already has has two Varshavyanka Project 636 submarines, two Paltus Project 877 submarines and by 2017 is supposed to receive two more Varshavyankas.  The same source added that Saudi Arabia aims to take revenge on Algeria for its refusal to support the Saudi military campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Russian website, Russia behind the Headlines (RBTH) attributes the cold phase in Russian-Algerian relations to their divergent positions of both its allies with regard to the energy strategy of the European Union. 

Submarines are always silent and strange.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Submarine Questions of the Week 28 OCT 2015

There is no general theme to this week's submarine questions. Rather, we present a variety of tidbits.

Submarine Questions of the Week

1 - In "the early 21st century" what typical chain of command (grade) connected with commissioned submarines reverted back to what it had been in the early years of nuclear propulsion ?  

2 - With whose navies are "HMS" and "HMJ" associated ?

3 - Close to what significant U.S. infrastructure system have Russian subs been detected and recently reported ?

4 - On average, a submariner is medevaced from their sub every 14 days.
   (a) for what kind of health issues ?
   (b) what is the approximate percentage of unplanned submarine crew losses related to this health issue ?

5 - What two recent developments does Connecticut hope will assure the Groton sub base remains off the federal government's next list for possible base closure ?

6 - Fill in the blank: In the movie "The Hunt for Red October" the character "Seaman Jones" plays a pivotal role in his assignment as a  ___?___  technician. 
   (a) In particular, what did Seaman Jones notice ?
   (b) In French navy parlance, what nickname would be bestowed on a technician with the prowess of Seaman Jones ? 

7 - If you do not believe the image shown below is a 2-plus ton, bottom-crawling, anti-submarine mine launched from a surface craft, what is it ?

ANSWERS:  Tuesday, 3 NOV 2015


Monday, October 05, 2015

ANSWERS: Submarine QOTW (29 SEP 2015)


Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting.

Submarine Questions of the Week with ANSWERS 

1- Is the U.S. submarine identification correct? ANS: No, USS Providence is SSN-719, not SSN-716 as the French publication stated.  SSN 716 was the USS Salt Lake City, which has been decommissioned since 2006.

2- Is the sub's given homeport coast correct? ANS: Yes, although the article was imprecise ("based on the east coast of the United States").  As of 2014, Providence is assigned once again to Submarine Development Squadron 12 and home-ported at US Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT.

3- When else was the sub USS Providence in Toulon? ANS: USS Providence was in the port of Toulon, France, from July 13-19, 1990, and made later visits including February 11, 1995, August 5, 1998, May 11, 2001.  reference

4- On what mission was USS Providence at the time of its earlier visit? ANS: On 19 March 2011, the submarine launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libyan air defenses in Operation Odyssey Dawn 

5- With what special type of missiles was USS Providence armed during its earlier visit? ANS:  Most notably disclosed was "USS Providence, a submarine also armed with TLAMs, and a range of anti-radiation missiles, are expected to be called into action during this phase of the operation, shortly before the RAF goes in."

6- The purpose of the special missiles is what? ANS:  Anti-radiation missiles (ARM) are designed to detect and destroy the source of certain enemy radio emissions to degrade the enemy's anti-aircraft defenses in early stages of conflict. The anti-radiation effort is made to reduce friendly aircraft losses. Additionally, anti-radiation missiles can quickly neutralize unexpected surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites during air raids. Hence, in Odyssey Dawn", shortly before and while "the RAF goes in."

7- Why would USS Providence return to the French port of Toulon?  Answer "Unknown", as stated when question 7 was originally posed.  Submarines are stealthy platforms that may perform covert missions rarely made public, unless such disclosure serves a higher national purpose.  Example.

USS Providence (SSN-719) has received three Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, four Navy Expeditionary Medals, six Meritorious Unit Commendations, four Navy Unit Commendations, six Battle "E" awards, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. 

Submarines are always silent and strange.  

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Saturday, October 03, 2015

What is wrong with THIS submarine photojounalsim?


Nature and Travel | Iceland Monitor | Wed 30 Sep 2015 
Catfish nests in a rare submarine geothermal silica cone
Diver and photographer Erlendur Bogason captured this photo of a catfish (anarchias lupus) in the depths of the ocean at Eyjafjörður, North Iceland.

The catfish was found guarding its eggs in the Strýtur chimneys, giant submarine geothermal silica cones that rise from the 70 metre seafloor of Eyjafjörður.

Bogason and his friend Árni Halldórsson discovered this natural wonder in 1997, and the area has become very popular for diving.
Above is a super photograph and description of a rare natural locale. Non-diver, nature observers must appreciate this decades-old, natural wonder about which we would probably otherwise never have been aware. 

What is wrong with THIS submarine photojournalism?  

M.E. QUIBBLE:  "Female catfish spawn (lay their eggs) close to the surface of the water where they are safe from other bottom-dwelling aquatic animals."   The Icelanders make an outstanding point in local identification of the species as a catfish, because the elevated spawn in geothermal silica chimneys is equivalent egg protection to laying eggs where safe from bottom dwellers.  

Yet, the accompanying latin name for the fish species, the one applied to four generations of United States submarines called USS Seawolf (SS-28, SS-197, SSN-575, and SSN-21),  is anarchias lupus, which is correctly spelled (Anarhichas lupus). The latin signifies the northern wolffish, also known as the seawolf, Atlantic catfish, ocean catfish, devil fish, wolf eel. 
Confused yet?  Try here.

Submarines are always silent and trange

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