- A lately retired British Admiral, Sir Lindsay Bryson, is reported by Nayy News & Underseas Technology, Oct. 25, 1985, to have commented adversely on Britain’s post-war history of torpedo developments — “which totals 25 projects with only three successful so far.” He is quoted as saying that often the projects “reflected a lack of clear policy by the customer and the need to control the enthusiasms of government scientists not subjected to commercial financial constraints.” Admiral Bryson further noted that even when industry was brought in on torpedo projects, the resources allocated for development were tiny compared with those devoted to air-flight guided weapons. “Britain,” be said, “tripped up with torpedoes because no one at the right level of management was in charge of the total weapon system. Worse still,” he continued, “government research establishments clung to responsibility for the torpedo.” The lessons from all this, according to Bryson, should be, “it is essential to separate research from development,” and, “it is vital that defense research establishments not be allowed to do the development.”
- The Financial Times of England, Oct. 9 edition, has an article by Alan Cane telling of the Swedish Navy’s plan to install a closed-cycle Stirling engine in one of their conventional submarines. This new engine, “is expected to extend the submerged operational capability of non-nuclear submarines from three days to three weeks, while eliminating the need for frequent ‘snorkeling’.” The new system has been developed by Kockums and is being considered by the Australian Navy for their next generation submarine. Tbe engine’s cost of “some 100,000 pounds for an output of 75 kilowatts is bloody expensive, but it solves a problem which can’t be solved any other way for the time being,” according to a former Royal Swedish Navy submariner. It is also noted that this new system utilizes huge oxygen tanks “to carry their air requirement on board.”
- An AP story, Sept. 16, 1985, tells of photographing the submarine SCORPION 17 years after it was lost. A new deep-diving submersible, the ARGO, took a large range of photos of the bottomed SCORPION, but reportedly there was no immediate indication from the photographs as to what caused the SCORPION’s sinking.
- The Submarine Launched Mobile Mine, according to Steven Eisenstadt in the Defense ~. has been delayed in delivery by about two years. This was due, according to the article, to a small New Jersey snow-making equipment manufacturer taking the job and “botching” it. A modified version of the Mk 37 torpedo, it was designed to be launched into shallow-water harbors by submarines standing well offshore in safe, deep-water positions. The Navy had hoped to have about 300 of the mines in its inventory by this year, and about 900 by the end of the decade.
- A Sept. 27, 1985 story in Nayy News & Underseas Technology, tells of the failure of the UK’s TIGERFISH heavyweight torpedo to perform reliably — since its service acceptance in 1979. Two or these torpedoes were fired in the Falklands war in 1982, “and failed each time.• The TIGERFISH should have entered service as early as 1967.
- An article by Paul Bedard in Nayy News & Teghnology, 27 Sept., 1985, tells of Navy plans to meet a White House ordered cut in the 5-year Defense budget, of nearly $300 billion. This cut would involve one TRIDENT ballistic missile submarine and one SSN-688.
- The Washington Post of Nov. 27th, carried a Walter Pincus story which told of the possibility of two SSBNs being dismantled next year “if President Reagan continues his policy of not undercutting SALT II agreement limits.” The NATHAN HALE and ANDREW JACKSON would be decommissioned when the USS NEVADA, a new TRIDENT submarine, became operational. The SALT II agreement which set a limit of 650 ballistic missile submarine launch tubes — for all SSBNs -expires on Dec. 31st. But if President Reagan decides to continue to stay within the SALT II limits, as has been suggested during the summit meeting with the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbacbev, then this dismantling should proceed as indicated.
- Sea Power of Sept. 1985, reports that the Navy’s Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) transmitting station in the upper Michigan peninsula, was activated on August 1st. This station is tied in with one in Northern Wisconsin and has the capability to send ELF messages to deeply submerged submarines — around the world and at anytime. The speaker at the inauguration of this facility, VADM Kirksey, said “This new facility is a vital key to maintaining communication links between the National Command Authority and the Navy’s missile submarines . . . . and is a vital part of our deterrent posture.”
- As a result of Congressional action in early November, there will no longer be “Commodores” in the u.s. Navy. From hence forward they become One-star Admirals or Rear Admirals, lower half — like the one-star Brigadier Generals of the Army.
- Sub Notes of October, 1985, reports on a new, small diesel-electric submarine, PIRANHA — a Vickers Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. product. With a length of 26.6 meters, a displacement of 134 tons and manned by a crew of 7, she can also carry 10 combat swimmers. She can make 9 knots submerged, operate over 800 miles from a base and patrol for 12 days at a time. PIRANHA is designed to penetrate coastal defenses. Her armament is 6 bottom-laid mines, two 2-man Scuba diver chariots, and inflatable assault craft. She has a diver lockout means which allows 2 men at a time to exit from the sub and gain access to the chariots or become part of a frogman assault crew.
- RADH Virgil Hill, Jr., became the Director of the Attack Submarine Division (OP-22) in OPNAV in October, 1985. Also in October RADH James G. Reynolds became Director of the Submarine Combat System Project (PMS-409) in the Naval Sea Systems Command. (This Project is the revised SUBACS project.)
- RADM Bruce DeMars was appointed to the grade of Vice Admiral on December 6 and bas taken over the job of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Submarine Warfare), OP-02, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, relieving VADM Nils Thunman who has been assigned as Director of Naval Training at Pensacola.
- A news item in the Washington Times of Nov. 1, 1985, tells of a Swedish surveillance ship, the ORION, which, while observing a new type of Soviet submarine — a “KILO” class non-nuclear submarine — in the Baltic, was rammed by a Soviet minesweeper which had positioned itself between the ORION and the Soviet submarine. It seemed to be trying to stop the surveillance. The damage to the ORION was only minor and may have been unintentional. KILOS have been previously reported only in the Pacific.
- A news item in the Chicago Tribune of Oct. 22, reported that the Chinese had successfully launched a surface to surface cruise missile from a land-based site. It landed in the East China Sea. It is believed to be the first cruise missile to be tested by China, and that it was for use by submarines. Most of its flight path was over land to apparently facilitate checks on its flight.
CAPTAIN J. GORDON McGARRY, USB( Ret.)
- Co–Chairman NSL Speakers Package
- First Contributor to NSL (one year prior to incorporation)
- A PROFESSIONAL OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN