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-   -   US Nuclear sub has hit an unknown object in the South China sea (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/643102-us-nuclear-sub-has-hit-unknown-object-south-china-sea.html)

NutLoose 8th Oct 2021 11:18

US Nuclear sub has hit an unknown object in the South China sea
 
11 sailors are reported injured but it is still operational and heading for Guam.


According to AP, the officials said the object the USS Connecticut collided with was not another submarine. One of the officials quoted by the agency said it could have been a sunken vessel or container, or other uncharted object.

Alex Neill, a Singapore-based defence and security expert, told the BBC the number of injuries caused by the collision suggested the submarine probably "hit something big" and was "going really fast".

Meanwhile, the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, told the BBC he was "deeply concerned" about actions that undermine peace across the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China.

He was speaking after China sent a record number of military jets into Taiwan's air defence zone for the fourth day running.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58838332

campbeex 8th Oct 2021 11:31

Probably bumped into Godzilla.

Buster Hyman 8th Oct 2021 11:49

Was it French? Asking for a friend...

Right20deg 8th Oct 2021 11:54


Originally Posted by NutLoose (Post 11123156)
11 sailors are reported injured but it is still operational and heading for Guam.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58838332

This is of concern. I would have imagined that on board tech would detect and avoid such collision. More information required.

Trim Stab 8th Oct 2021 12:00


Originally Posted by Right20deg (Post 11123181)
This is of concern. I would have imagined that on board tech would detect and avoid such collision. More information required.

They would not be using sonar. It is a nuclear boat on patrol - they just navigate using onboard IMU and charts. A collision with an uncharted object is always a risk - look up USS San Fransisco incident.

hunterboy 8th Oct 2021 12:09

Who would put it past the Chinese to string a load of old shipping containers or build artificial reefs, etc across likely sub routes .

TWT 8th Oct 2021 12:22

I'm curious as to why this incident was publicised.

NutLoose 8th Oct 2021 12:32


Originally Posted by Trim Stab (Post 11123184)
They would not be using sonar. It is a nuclear boat on patrol - they just navigate using onboard IMU and charts. A collision with an uncharted object is always a risk - look up USS San Fransisco incident.

Mentioned in the above link.


USNI News, a site specialised in the US Navy, said the last known incident where a submerged US submarine struck another underwater object was in 2005, when the USS San Francisco hit an underwater mountain at full speed near Guam. One sailor died in the incident.
Why release it? well I suppose it does tell China in no uncertain terms they have nuclear subs sitting off the coast in case things get hot regarding Taiwan, so it serves two purposes, to be open and also to send a subtle message, which judging by the the quote below they got, that would be my guess, Plus you might need to explain an unscheduled arrival at Guam and people being taken to hospital.


In comments reported by Chinese state-run daily Global Times, a spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs said China was "seriously concerned" about the incident, calling on the US to provide further details, including the purpose of the mission.

..

Richard Dangle 8th Oct 2021 12:54


This is of concern. I would have imagined that on board tech would detect and avoid such collision. More information required.
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).

andytug 8th Oct 2021 13:13


Originally Posted by Richard Dangle (Post 11123217)
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).

That was the point at which I finally lost it with "Vigil"....I twigged straight off that the listening sonar guy was useless, a trained one would have heard any powered ship coming from miles away (and be able to tell exactly what type it was). Everyone in that control room should have instantly known he was hopeless and he'd have been replaced straight off.

I suspect as said above the reporting of this early (before the sub appears somewhere unexpected for repairs) is to send a message.

Vortex Hoop 8th Oct 2021 14:17


Originally Posted by andytug (Post 11123224)
That was the point at which I finally lost it with "Vigil"....I twigged straight off that the listening sonar guy was useless, a trained one would have heard any powered ship coming from miles away (and be able to tell exactly what type it was). Everyone in that control room should have instantly known he was hopeless and he'd have been replaced straight off.

I suspect as said above the reporting of this early (before the sub appears somewhere unexpected for repairs) is to send a message.

Agreed - Vigil was a steaming pile of hoop.

Unfortunately the BBC thinks that the public won't notice.

BFSGrad 8th Oct 2021 15:05


Originally Posted by Richard Dangle (Post 11123217)
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).

Adding even more meat…

Passive sonar is the norm for U.S. subs during all operations (including surface ops). Active sonar is reserved for training and ice ops. However, passive sonar has its limitations; e.g., degrades with speed or poor environmental (acoustic) conditions.

The fact that there were injuries indicates the sub was operating with significant speed.

While subs can measure depth of water under the keel using a fathometer (a routine exception to passive ops), such measurement suffers from the same limitation as the older aircraft GPWS systems; i.e., it can only look down, not ahead. I suspect the SCS is well surveyed with very few uncharted bottom features.

Regarding the comment about surfacing under bulk carriers, large vessels can be extremely difficult to detect using passive sonar due to an effect called a bow null.

The San Francisco collision was due to navigating by incomplete charting data. Back in 1977, the USS Ray collided with the sea bottom due to gross navigational error while operating in the Med. Anyone remember Omega?

Doors Off 8th Oct 2021 16:06


Originally Posted by Richard Dangle (Post 11123217)
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).

OMG, are you saying that a fictional Drama TV series isn’t actually accurate? Here I was thinking that it was. Shame on me.

Now, to be slightly more polite, I understand your frustration at some (a lot) of the nonsense in Vigil, let alone the required modern love story that is required to obtain production funding in today’s Politically sensitive funding environment. However, it was an ok series, not great, but ok.

I put my “civi” eyes on and “mil BS Filter” (especially the poor construction of the boot neck headwear (sorry calling it a beret when they are so inaccurately shaped, pains me - we all have our triggers)) and managed to enjoy it.

On a more realistic note, here is hoping that all of the crew heal well and get back on guard soon.

meleagertoo 8th Oct 2021 16:46

The USN are reported in The Times today as stating "it was not another submarine" so some kind of Chinese chicanery sounds highly likley.

TURIN 8th Oct 2021 16:48


Originally Posted by andytug (Post 11123224)
That was the point at which I finally lost it with "Vigil"....I twigged straight off that the listening sonar guy was useless, a trained one would have heard any powered ship coming from miles away (and be able to tell exactly what type it was). Everyone in that control room should have instantly known he was hopeless and he'd have been replaced straight off.

I suspect as said above the reporting of this early (before the sub appears somewhere unexpected for repairs) is to send a message.

Spoiler Alert.

Did said sonar guy not turn out to be the saboteur?

RickNRoll 8th Oct 2021 20:21


Originally Posted by hunterboy (Post 11123189)
Who would put it past the Chinese to string a load of old shipping containers or build artificial reefs, etc across likely sub routes .

The Chinese don't have to bother. Shipping companies lose enough containers already to create a growing hazard.

megan 9th Oct 2021 01:39

I'd imagine the sub sea charting accuracy useful to a submarine at depth would be far less than desired. In 1973 operated on board a hydrographic vessel and were surveying waters that had not been updated since Captain Cook did the original, what was surprising was how damn accurate his surveys were using what we would consider rudimentary navigational aids, sextant, and chronometer with no time update from the BBC. Even a survey is no guarantee, as its accuracy is dependent on the technology used, we had a bulk carrier tear its bottom open on a rock pinnacle in open ocean shallow surveyed waters, the rock was slap bang in the middle between the lines that had been run, forget the exact spacing of the lines, in the order of a couple of hundred yards and before the days of side scan sonar.

pifpafpouf 9th Oct 2021 10:25

Well we can only make basic assumptions based on what navy reported.

-Seawolf class are still top notch despite their age and way more advanced in electronics passive detection compared to 668(i). On certain technologies they are still more advanced than the succeeding Virginia class (at least the 1st batch).
- It seems very unlikely for this part of the world not to be very well charted.
- the reported casualties is low compared to the S.F incident, the sub went back on own power.
- Seawolf class have an publicly reported “silent speed” of 20kts and a top speed in the 35-40kts range. If operating close to the bottom (for thermocline stealth or spec ops ) it’s very unlikely it would be operating at more than a few kts, and would have a very precise keel-floor mesure. Running at PD the damage would be mostly on the sail, and striking a civilian traffic would have probably be reported as such.

To clarify on some other comments:
Chinese DO know that U.S subs operate in these waters, since they are still free of navigation based on international laws (even if claimed).
Submarines DO NOT operate in peace time in territorial waters submerged, this is considered an act of war, rightfully so. In these instances, they sail on surface displaying regular navigation light and identification. There are some few exceptions and mutual agreement in place (for some straights and closed water access, and joint exercises).
Chinese are well known to be implementing their own SOSUS system, it is unclear as to how efficient this system is.

I’d bet on either uncharted obstacle, Chinese anti-sub obstacles they would have laid down, or sub-sub collision, even if they claim it’s not the case. If it’s nothing serious, some data will probably be declassified once the navy investigation and report is complete.

anyway, CO,XO and OOD are probably heading to Hawaii for a non-biscuit coffee meeting, and their next command is probably a lighthouse…

andytug 9th Oct 2021 11:59


Originally Posted by TURIN (Post 11123310)
Spoiler Alert.

Did said sonar guy not turn out to be the saboteur?

Exactly. In reality he woudn't have lasted 5 minutes on the job and certainly not after missing a ship that size. Active listening is one of the most important jobs on the sub!

Tartiflette Fan 9th Oct 2021 17:50


Originally Posted by pifpafpouf (Post 11123611)
Submarines DO NOT operate in peace time in territorial waters submerged, this is considered an act of war, rightfully so. In these instances, they sail on surface displaying regular navigation light and identification. There are some few exceptions and mutual agreement in place (for …

You need to read up on what the Swedes find in their waters - and certainly without any agreement.

golder 9th Oct 2021 22:32

An x-submariner looks at it

ChrisJ800 10th Oct 2021 06:34

My last sailboat had downward sonar (depth gauge) and forward looking sonar for going into an anchorage. I assume these low current devices are not stealthy. I can understand a sub switching these off in time of war or when in foreign waters and wanting to be stealthy, but why not use them for the rest of the time? Obviously I am a pilot who can sail, but not a submariner! But is there a balance between safety and stealthiness?

pasta 10th Oct 2021 10:35


Originally Posted by ChrisJ800 (Post 11124020)
My last sailboat had downward sonar (depth gauge) and forward looking sonar for going into an anchorage. I assume these low current devices are not stealthy. I can understand a sub switching these off in time of war or when in foreign waters and wanting to be stealthy, but why not use them for the rest of the time? Obviously I am a pilot who can sail, but not a submariner! But is there a balance between safety and stealthiness?

Even in peacetime, attack submarines spend their time doing stuff they don't want anyone else to see. How better to practice tracking and getting into position to attack an adversary, than doing it for real? How better to gather sonar and other data on your counterpart's vessels and capabilities? This is no secret; everyone's doing it, everyone knows everyone's doing it, and there are some pretty good books on the subject.

I should imagine the holy grail of underwater warfare is being able to track and take out your adversary's SSBNs, so you can bet there's a lot of effort going into this; if anyone does have that capability, you're not going to read about it for a very long time...

Bueno Hombre 10th Oct 2021 11:31


Originally Posted by pasta (Post 11124108)
Even in peacetime, attack submarines spend their time doing stuff they don't want anyone else to see. How better to practice tracking and getting into position to attack an adversary, than doing it for real? How better to gather sonar and other data on your counterpart's vessels and capabilities? This is no secret; everyone's doing it, everyone knows everyone's doing it, and there are some pretty good books on the subject.

I should imagine the holy grail of underwater warfare is being able to track and take out your adversary's SSBNs, so you can bet there's a lot of effort going into this; if anyone does have that capability, you're not going to read about it for a very long time...

Please list some of these pretty good books. Thanks

pasta 10th Oct 2021 12:23


Originally Posted by Bueno Hombre (Post 11124123)
Please list some of these pretty good books. Thanks

"The Silent Deep" by Jinks and Hennessey is the most comprehensive account I've read; if you're only going to read one book about submarines, this would be my recommendation.
"Blind Man's Bluff" is also a pretty good read, a bit lighter, with more of a focus on cable-tapping operations.

Asturias56 10th Oct 2021 14:57

Pasta is correct - all submarine arms spend their time trying on sneaking around. TF reminds us of the Soviet navies efforts in Sweden and of course the Finns often seem to have "unknown objects" wandering about their waters.

The British and the French managed a collision a few years back and there are stories, sometimes published as part of someone's obituary, about some scary close encounters in the past.

No-one talks about today of course but you can bet it's going on 24/7

Ninthace 10th Oct 2021 16:49

And the Royal Navy presumably still has shares in plywood and black paint so they can pretend it didn't happen - and I don't mean Ambush, Astute, Vanguard, Superb or Trafalgar.

It is something it has Talent for but then that wasn't the first time either.

YRP 11th Oct 2021 03:02


Originally Posted by ChrisJ800 (Post 11124020)
Obviously I am a pilot who can sail, but not a submariner!

Have you considered that might be the next logical step for you? In progression of interests and hobbies. :}

tartare 11th Oct 2021 03:51


Originally Posted by pasta (Post 11124157)
"The Silent Deep" by Jinks and Hennessey is the most comprehensive account I've read... .

Ordered on Kindle just now.
The Secret State was good - so looking forward to this.

goofer3 11th Oct 2021 20:25


Originally Posted by Ninthace (Post 11124287)
And the Royal Navy presumably still has shares in plywood and black paint so they can pretend it didn't happen - and I don't mean Ambush, Astute, Vanguard, Superb or Trafalgar. It is something it has Talent for but then that wasn't the first time either.

Knew I had this filed away somewhere. From October, 1968;

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....5a6521fb54.jpg

Levelling_the_Land 11th Oct 2021 21:22

Recounted in reasonable detail from p311 in my copy of "The Silent Deep"

(For clarity, that's the HMS Warspite incident)

Ninthace 11th Oct 2021 21:43


Originally Posted by Levelling_the_Land (Post 11124912)
Recounted in reasonable detail from p311 in my copy of "The Silent Deep"

(For clarity, that's the HMS Warspite incident)

HMS Sceptre also had a close encounter with an iceberg (aka K-211) that required the use of the battleshort to sort the situation out.

NutLoose 11th Oct 2021 21:53


Originally Posted by ChrisJ800 (Post 11124020)
My last sailboat had downward sonar (depth gauge) and forward looking sonar for going into an anchorage. I assume these low current devices are not stealthy. I can understand a sub switching these off in time of war or when in foreign waters and wanting to be stealthy, but why not use them for the rest of the time? Obviously I am a pilot who can sail, but not a submariner! But is there a balance between safety and stealthiness?

I would imagine one reason is you would want your vessels operating in or near their wartime areas, thus if the poo did hit the fan and rapidly escalate literally in days, the boat would be where it was needed, not having to fast track there. Hence you wouldn’t want to announce your position.

langleybaston 11th Oct 2021 22:23


Originally Posted by tartare (Post 11124504)
Ordered on Kindle just now.
The Secret State was good - so looking forward to this.

Hennessy is brilliant, a historian of modern times, using modern language and a tinge of humour.
A very few days into the Chinese Plague he was interviewed by the Beeb. He said [I summarise badly] that history would be seen for many years as BC and AC ...... before Covid, and After it struck. He basically said this is the big one, the global consequences will be severe and are unknowable.

And here we are, 2 years in, with "crises" not just here but [ill-reported] just about everywhere: supply chains, shortages, civil disobedience, balances of power upset, .....

A brilliant man, the pre-eminent historian of modern Britain.

Union Jack 11th Oct 2021 22:35


Originally Posted by goofer3 (Post 11124887)
Knew I had this filed away somewhere. From October, 1968;

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....5a6521fb54.jpg

"..... the 20,000,000 nuclear submarine Warspite...." Looks like the creators of HMS Vigil must have learned from that.....:ugh:

Jack

Davef68 12th Oct 2021 16:42


Originally Posted by Union Jack (Post 11124971)
"..... the 20,000,000 nuclear submarine Warspite...." Looks like the creators of HMS Vigil must have learned from that.....:ugh:

Jack

I think a '£' is missing from the front of that number.

A lot of RN submarines hit 'ice' over the years. 'Ice' often had a Russian accent.

NutLoose 12th Oct 2021 16:54

An interesting one of late

Two of the UK’s most senior Royal Navy officers have strongly rejected the suggestion that a submarine could have sunk a fishing boat that went down off the Cornish coast 17 years ago with the loss of five lives.
Navy officers deny a submarine sank the fishing boat 17 years ago (msn.com)

WE Branch Fanatic 12th Oct 2021 18:06

Funnily enough I was watching an old episode of Kavanaugh QC the other day and the story was about a trawler lost with her crew. The owner and other locals started a conspiracy theory that there had been a collision with a submarine, but he had sent a non seaworthy boat to sea and sabotaged her for the insurance money.. I was reminded of the tragic loss of the Fishing Vessel Pescado.

As for submarines in deep water, see - Why Billion Dollar Nuclear Submarines Still Run Into Things Underwater.

jolihokistix 13th Oct 2021 09:10

In February this year a surfacing Japanese submarine in home waters hit the hull of a Chinese container ship right above.
Take your pick of the various news source interpretations from factual to derisory.
https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=su...&client=safari

chopper2004 2nd Nov 2021 13:18

Seamount
 
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...j0kOzVUw7vYm5s


https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....19c335be8.jpeg

shades of the late Clive Cussler first novel


https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....efafa5a7b.jpeg

cheers


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