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Warship live firing, near civil helicopters in UK north sea

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Warship live firing, near civil helicopters in UK north sea

Old 20th Feb 2003, 23:01
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Danger Warship live firing, near civil helicopters in UK north sea

Anybody hear anything about yesterday, when apparently a warship ( not heard what nationality ) was live firing in the northern north sea.
Don't know what it was firing, but whatever it was it was surface to high level. Apparently there were civil helicopters in the area, and no notams of any sort or temporary danger area.
Apparently it was only stopped when civil ATC spoke to a nimrod in the area.
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Old 21st Feb 2003, 00:13
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Must have been a Frenchman, a monkey swam ashore in Hartlepool.
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Old 21st Feb 2003, 00:23
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More likely to have been a Septic, as they are apparently now exempt from International Law
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Old 21st Feb 2003, 15:33
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From my time in the Navy, if I remember rightly, but dont quote, there is actually nothing to stop a warship in international waters (ie outside the 12nm limit) from conducting a gunnery firing using radar clear range procedures. Provided the ship can ensure the safety trace for the weapon being fired is clear using her own radars then she can fire.

However the "sensible" way to do it is of course in a prescribed danger area with a notam. Except in a war of course, when you can do as you please (but last time I checked we were not!).
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Old 22nd Feb 2003, 19:35
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timzsta, seems a bit daft- how can the ship ensure that there isn't a boat/oil rig below the radar horizon, upon which its shells will drop? (or sub just below the surface )
Thought would also have to be given as to how high a shell travels on its trajectory.
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Old 22nd Feb 2003, 23:11
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In the last couple of years , a US Navy ship practicing live artillery fire of the North of Scotland managed to land a live round just west of a town called Thurso.

Will try to post relevant web links for you but a phone call to the local Thurso paper (Caithness ,Scotland)might be quicker !!!!!!!!!

If memory serves, Tony Blair had given permission for live fire exercises of Cape Wrath and the gunnery officer on this particular USN ship had a bit of an off day. Only 20 or so civilians threatened and about 5000 sheep !!!!!!!!!!
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Old 24th Feb 2003, 10:48
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Rattus

The US is not exempt from International Law - they simply dictate to the rest of us what it is and then pick and choose which bits of it they wish to abide by.

Now leave me alone as I'm off back to my bunker (oops, no I meant cave - DOH! err, I meant non-threatening totally peaceful hole in ground) to hide for the next 100 years.
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Old 24th Feb 2003, 11:30
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BBC News
and
The Northern Times Report

Seems like the Thurso incident didn't involve a US warship (perhaps surprisingly ), but 'one of our own'.
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Old 24th Feb 2003, 12:55
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Gunnery procedures ARE tightly controlled. A firing order is produced by the Principle Warfare Officer (A) of the FF/DD, briefed to the entire team and authorised by the CO. Neither NOTAMs or NTMs are required, but SOP dictates that safety broadcasts will be made on 1202 VHF comms to other shipping (not airmen). High and Low altitude airways are transposed from relevant charts onto the best scale Trans Merc chart of the exercise area (this can be anywhere on the high seas). Command Blind and Visual Safety Officers are employed along with the Weapon Director (Visual). Oil rigs are charted and updated by weekly NTM, subs know where we are as we promulgate the firing to other military units in the Weekly Practice Programme. Other ships and aircraft are not at risk as our sensor coverage is far greater than the safety trace of the ordnance being fired (but not talking about missiles here!). Hoist Flag Bravo and wait for the earshattering boom and smell of cordite, smells like victory!!
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Old 24th Feb 2003, 16:28
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I believe the location of sunken car transporters is broadcast too, but doesn't stop some idiots crashing into it. Just because the CO authorises it as a safe practice doesn't gaurantee anything either - look at HMS Nottingham (how embarassing!).
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Old 24th Feb 2003, 18:27
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BMW Man, you say 'High and Low altitude airways are transposed from relevant charts onto the best scale Trans Merc chart of the exercise area'. What does that achieve nowdays when most aircraft go on direct routeings?

Generally, if a boat has a radar reflector at 20ft, and a ship has a radar at 100ft, the radio horizon is 20 miles- this gives problems when the heights are reduced, and/or the distance is more than 20 miles.

If you can promulgate to military units when/where you will be firing, why can't you also NOTAM?

Not 'getting at you' but I don't see how it amounts to a failsafe system.
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Old 24th Feb 2003, 22:19
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Would have brightened up the day for those at Ice Station Zebra!
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Old 25th Feb 2003, 11:24
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Point taken about radar envelope, if you are talking 1006-1008 India band navigational radar. Bear in mind though, the job of these warships is not only to prosecute a contact but to detect it, the radar envelopes of eg. 1022 surveillance radar are quite massive and will detect both terrestrial and airborne craft. Additionally, there are ways and there are ways of detecting anything transmitting radio waves, without the need for radar. Passive detection will yield almost staggering accuracy at considerable range, ESM. Your jet will not get within X hundred miles of a FF/DD without being 'seen', either by radar or otherwise. If indeed your aircraft is heading towards the warship under the Vertical Coverage Diagram (envelope) then you will certainly be contacted as the warship will start to twitch...!

Nuff about boring tech stuff, you are correct that nothing in this life is failsafe, shooting down aeroplanes is a US Navy stereotype, crashing into land is most definately our forte, can name another half dozen serious incidents in last 2 years that you won't have seen on the news!
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