Nuclear subs collide in Atlantic

Bananas

Endangered Species
#1
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jKcoIY6QBk2T25USYHDKbBtyUmHQD96CTH5O0

British, French nuclear subs collide in Atlantic

By DAVID STRINGER – 2 hours ago
LONDON (AP) — Nuclear submarines from Britain and France collided deep in the Atlantic Ocean this month, authorities said Monday in the first acknowledgment of a highly unusual accident that one expert called the gravest in nearly a decade.
Officials said the low-speed crash did not damage the vessels' nuclear reactors or missiles or cause radiation to leak. But anti-nuclear groups said it was still a frightening reminder of the risks posed by submarines prowling the oceans powered by radioactive material and bristling with nuclear weapons.
The first public indication of a mishap came when France reported in a little-noticed Feb. 6 statement that one of its submarine had struck a submerged object — perhaps a shipping container. But confirmation of the accident only came after British media reported it.
France's defense ministry said Monday that the sub Le Triomphant and the HMS Vanguard, the oldest vessel in Britain's nuclear-armed submarine fleet, were on routine patrol when they collided in the Atlantic this month. It did not say exactly when, where or how the accident occurred.
France said that Le Triomphant suffered damage to a sonar dome — where navigation and detection equipment is stored — and limped home to its base on L'Ile Longue on France's western tip. HMS Vanguard returned to a submarine base in Scotland with visible dents and scrapes, the BBC reported.
"The two submarines came into contact at very low speed," Britain's First Sea Lord, Admiral Jonathon Band, said. Band, Britain's most senior naval officer, offered no further explanation.
HMS Vanguard came into service in 1993, has a crew of around 140 and typically carries 16 Lockheed Trident D5 missiles. Under government policy, British nuclear submarines carry a maximum of 48 warheads. At least one of Britain's four submarines is on patrol and ready to fire at any given time.
France's Le Triomphant carries 111 crew and 15 nuclear missiles, according to defense analysis group Jane's.
"This is the most severe incident involving a nuclear submarine since the sinking of the Kursk in 2000 and the first time since the Cold War that two nuclear-armed subs are known to have collided," said Kate Hudson, head of Britain's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Russia's Kursk nuclear submarine crashed to the bottom of the Barents Sea during a training voyage in August 2000, killing all 118 crew members.
In March 2007 two British sailors were killed in an explosion on board HMS Tireless during a war game beneath the Arctic ice cap. The same submarine crashed into an object, possibly an iceberg, while on patrol in the Arctic in May 2003. And in November 2002 HMS Trafalgar suffered considerable external damage after running aground on rocks off Scotland while taking part in a two-week training exercise
"It's an absolute one in a million chance that the two submarines were in the same place at the same time," said Lee Willett, head of the maritime studies program at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based military think tank. "There is no precedent of an incident like this — it's a freak accident," he said.
Stephen Saunders, a retired British Royal Navy commodore and the editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, said that while NATO countries let each other know what general area of the Atlantic they are operating in, neither submarine would have had a precise position for the other.
"This really shouldn't have happened at all," Saunders said. "It's a very serious incident, and I find it quite extraordinary."
Both Saunders and Willett said submarines don't always turn on their sonar systems, or make their presence obvious.
"The whole point is to go and hide in a big chunk of ocean and not be found. They tend to go around very slowly and not make much noise," Saunders said.
Willett said the greatest risks from an accident would be from a leak of radioactive waste. An accidental firing of a nuclear weapon as a result of a crash would be impossible, because of the complex processes needed to prime and fire a missile, he said.
Stephane Lhomme, a spokesman for the French anti-nuclear group Sortir du Nucleaire, said his organization is checking the French coastline for evidence of any leak of radioactive material.
"This reminds us that we could have a new catastrophe with a nuclear submarine at any moment," Lhomme said.

There is something a little fishy about this story.

I suspect the two vessels were either playing hide and seek with one another, or, both were oblivious to one another whilst they tracked a different vessel, using similar strategies it may of placed them both in the same location.

I bet there are a few seamen who were glad to see the surface again after something like this. It could of been a real disaster.
 

Bjarki

Registered Member
#2
I don't know, it could happen. One in a million is still a chance.

One thing's for sure though: the latest stealth techniques that make submarines invisible to sonar work quite well.
 

Stab-o-Matic5000

Cutting Edge in Murder
#3
I'm just thinking, are there no ways to visually determine your surroundings in a submarine? Though I guess they could have been so deep that it was pitch black.
 

MAgnum9987

Do What Thou Wilt
#4
You can't have windows in a sub, stabby. They are
A) Too expensive
B) Compromise the shape of hull, allowing sonar to bounce off a sub at better angles that allow the sub to be picked up
C) While the above problems can be fixed, sub designers are either unwilling to put forward the time and effort to address such problems, or are to traditional to even consider the notion.

I do believe that this was an accident. But their is most certainly something being hidden from the public. The odds that two Nuclear subs with nuclear ordinance where in the same spot at the same time. They where doing something. I can't even guess at what they where doing.
 
#5
I'm no expert on submarines or warfare machines or anything, but in 2009 with technology don't they have working sonar available? So both vessels would be more aware of each other, especially considering they were both nuclear submarines?

Even a miniature underwater vessel has some form of tracking things and they manage to avoid crashing in to one another.
 

Stab-o-Matic5000

Cutting Edge in Murder
#6
You can't have windows in a sub, stabby. They are
A) Too expensive
B) Compromise the shape of hull, allowing sonar to bounce off a sub at better angles that allow the sub to be picked up
C) While the above problems can be fixed, sub designers are either unwilling to put forward the time and effort to address such problems, or are to traditional to even consider the notion.

I do believe that this was an accident. But their is most certainly something being hidden from the public. The odds that two Nuclear subs with nuclear ordinance where in the same spot at the same time. They where doing something. I can't even guess at what they where doing.
I wasn't necessarily referring to windows, more like underwater cameras and stuff of that nature.
 

MAgnum9987

Do What Thou Wilt
#7
Like said, any video device could not be built on the outside of the hull and resist water pressure and not be crushed by the water pressure
 

Stab-o-Matic5000

Cutting Edge in Murder
#8
Like said, any video device could not be built on the outside of the hull and resist water pressure and not be crushed by the water pressure
Obviously I'm not an expert on engineering, but I don't see how it's impossible to have some kind of viewing device on a submarine. How else do they get video footage of things on the bottom of the ocean?
 

MAgnum9987

Do What Thou Wilt
#9
You don't need a nuclear sub with ballistic missiles to see the bottom of the ocean stabby, thats what civilians are for. But still, this is a coverup for something BIG.