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  • Jane’s Defense Weekly of 1 November, 1986, reports that Canada is looking at the possibility of buying a conventionally powered submarine with an under-ice capability provided by an air-independent propulsion system. Such a system, which would function as an auxiliary to the main battery could use nuclear propulsion. Two types of nuclear systems are under development in Canada, an Autonomous (Nuclear) Marine Propulsion System by Energy Conservation Systems Inc. and a nuclear battery from the Atomic Energy Commission. These nuclear systems could be used by a generator to produce 400 kw of energy theoretically providing unlimited under-ice endurance.
  • The Baltimore Sun of November 17 reports that “suspected incursions by Soviet submarines into Norway’D c~ep fjords to test coastal defenses are increasingly worrying military officials in this NATO country. The Norwegians are convinced Soviet submarines, operating from their base in Kola peninsula, are staging regular forays into their (Norwegian) waters. So far this year, they have reacted to 20 submarine alerts from fishermen, coast guards and civilians.”
  • Jane’s Defense Weekly of 25 October reports that six European governments have been approved to meet a Saudi Arabian requirement for between six and eight ocean-going submarines. Such a submarine force would make the Saudi Navy the dominant Middle East force by the mid-1990s. Bids on these submarines are due to be lodged with the government in Riyadh by mid-December. Iran is also seeking to re-establish contracts for the supply of submarines signed with West Germany at the time of the Shah’s downfall.
  • According to press reports, the German U-507, sunk on the day before V.E. day in 1945 in the Skagerrak, has been found by divers. Denmark has announced it will lay claim to the reported treasure aboard. The U-507 at over 300 ft. length was one of the largest subs in the U-boat fleet. It was supposed to be carrying many of the top Nazis and was loaded with treasures of gold, jewelry, art and so forth. It was on its way to South America from Kiel, Germany, when it was sunk by British bombers.
  • Sub Notes of September, 1986, says that “there is a disturbing rumor that Libya is shopping for small submarines. The Soviets are thought to have nearly 200 minisubs of about 65 ft. length, launched from a mother sub and capable of crawling along the bottom.”
  • Sub Notes of September, 1986, also reports that the u.s. has gotten a DOLPHIN ROV -•~ l’er~otely operated vehicle built by ISE of Er81and initially for the Bedford Institute of Oceanocraphy — which has been named SEA LION. This small radio-controlled submarine is powered by a 120 hp diesel engine and can make 15-20 knots. The DOLPHINS are used today for hydrographic and bathymetric survey, as described in a previous issue of the SUBMARINE REVIEW. The Office of Naval Technology intends to evaluate SEA LION for naval applications, including operations at sea by blimps and other aircraft.
  • Navy Times of 17 November reports that “an accident during underway operations has left the nuclear powered attack submarine AUGUSTA with $1.5 million in hull damage,” according to Navy officials. “The submarine’s external ballast tank plating and sonar dome covering were damaged in the accident– repairs will take several weeks.”
  • The Unde~t§r~~es of 1 November says that the Submarine Advanced Combat System (SUBACS) — an integrated combat control system for the nuclear-powered SSN-751 — is being reviewed by the Draper Laboratory, Cambri~6e, MA. SUBACS, initiated in 1980 and approved for full-scale development in December, 1983, bas undergone restructuring because of problems in developing a revolutionary fiber optics data bus to connect the system’s computers.
  • The Portsmouth Herald of August 31, tells of the opening of the ALBACORE to the public at its Albacore Park, Portsmouth, NH. About 2500 visitors went aboard ALBACORE on her first open day. The brochure for this superb tourist attraction, says: “See how a crew of 55 men worked and lived aboard this 205-foot by 27-foot submarine,” {with its revolutionary tear-drop shape and high underwater speed).
  • Defense Wee.L< of november· 3 notes that the Navy’s financing solution to its low-cost (about $200,000) antiship torpedo program indicates that at least one of the two finalists is a foreign firm. Four contractors are bidding on this program, but several see it as a weak program “fearing congressional opposition will kill the program next year.” However, one contractor’s representative said that “Navy Secretary John Lehman, who has personally fostered this program, will find a way to keep it alive.” This year Congress zeroed the Navy’s request for $17 million to buy 34 torpedoes to start the program, including 7 torpedoes for each of the two finalists. · aut the Navy received permission to use $7 million from the Submarine Tactical Warfare Support account for test and evaluation only. Whitehead of Italy, Marconi of Great Britain and Gould and Honeywell of America are in contention for this torpedo competition.
  • In an interview in the DOLPHIN newspaper of July 11, Captain Harvey, the Head of the Submarine Medical Research Laboratory, Groton, CT, says that the DSRV (the deep submergence re~cue vessel) is viewed as the prime method for rescues from a trapped submarine. The second method is the Flyaway McAnn Bell (homeported in San Diego), and free ascent using the Stanke Hood is the third option. Other submarine projects, he noted, were under study including “examining the possibility of running with lowered oxygen levels to decrease fire hazards.” Also, “what would happen if we used sudden pressurizations with nitrogen to suppress fires as opposed to the current means for fire suppression.”
  • A Navy release tells or the commissioning of the USS LOUISVILLE (SSN 724) on 8 November at the SubBase, Groton, CT. Admiral Kinnaird McKee, USN, was the Key Guest Speaker.
  • of 11 October summarizes the sinking of the Soviet (YANKEEclass) SSBN after an explosion off the u.s. east co&st — 600 n.m. north of Bermuda. The explosion in one of the starboard bank of ballisti c missile tubes, while the ~ubmarine was submerged, ripped a one-meter hole in the bull. Seemingly,, a fire in the two stage liquid fuel rocket motor of an ss-N6 missile had generated considerable heat and smoke and set off the explosion. However, it was not believed that a detonation of a nuclear warhead had taken place. Tass confirmed on October 4 that three of the YANKEE’s crew had died and that several more were injured. Offers by the u.s. to help the stricken submarine were refused, and after two attempts to limp home under its own power it was taken in tow by a Soviet trawler. But the sub sank on the morning of October 6th. The loss of the YANKEE was not considered to be a setback for the Soviets since the YANKEES are being disposed of to stay within SALT 1 -treaty limits. The Red Fleet moreover is converting some YANKEEs to attack and cruise missile capable vessels. o Milan Vego, writing in the December, 1986 Proceedin2s says: “Soviet SSNs with the exception of older ECH0-1s and NOVEMBERs, are fitted with two small, twin-bladed propellers on the stern planes, which are powered by an auxiliary (electric) plant for running at a silent speed (5-15 knots). Likewise, some modern SSs, notably the TANGOs and probably KILOs as well, are also equipped with a similar plant to provide a silent speed capability.”
  • Jane’s Defense Weekly of 4 October, 1986, tells of the launching of the 1100-ton VASTERGOTLAND. It is the first of four dieselelectrics to be constructed at the Kockums Malmoe yard for the Swedish Navy. It will use wireguided homing torpedoes, has a one-man steering and dive control system, and has a complement of 20. Kockums is also offering for export, a tropicalized version, the A 17, an air-independent submarine using Stirling closed-cycle propulsion.
  • Defense Week of November 24, in a byline by Frank Elliot, reports on a classified conference on “new ways to find submarines,” sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and held at Systems Planning Corp., Arlington, Virginia. The conference was designed “to investigate new and innovative methods of detecting various non-acoustic signatures of submerged submarines,” noting that Soviet submarines may soon be too quiet to find by traditional methods. !lready the Soviet AKULAclass submarines are able to elude the Navy’s SOSUS underwater system. “Much of past Navy effort in this field has been spent in tracking non-acoustic ASW research by the Soviets, who by some estimate have been pursuing the matter for 20 years.”
  • Defense Week of November 17 bas an item telling of the launching on November 3rd of the British Royal Navy’s fifth TRAFALGAR-class SSN, the HMS TRENCHANT. These attack boats carry HARPOON missiles and cost $300 million each. Plans are for seven of this class.
  • Defense Week showed a box score of the Navy budget for Fiscal Year 1987 as passed by the Congress on October 17. While showing approved administration numbers for Mk 46 torpedoes, HARPOONs, TOMAHAWKs and ASROCs, there were exceptions, to the administration’s request, of special note: —Mk 48 ADCAP torpedoes were reduced to 123 weapons and t255 million cost from the requested 227 units.
    -The ASUW antiship torpedo was zeroed from the request of 34 units.
    -The Mk 50 lightweight torpedo was reduced from 84 to 67 units.
  • NaYV News and Un.d…eJ’JJJ!.Jl…jectuto~o,&y of September 26, reports on a drive, spearheaded by the Naval Surface Weapons Center at White Oaks, Maryland, “to develop a new generation of explosives and warheads.” The Navy bas issued a notice in the September 15 Commerce Business Daily for “fundamental research proposals in energetic materials (explosives and propellants) technology and in warhead technology.” As further defined, the notice hopes to find “if somebody in industry has something that may be of interest to the Navy” but no budget bas been established for the warhead technology effort. Five areas of research the Navy wants to pursue are: new energetic materials and their applications to warheads; techniques to safely produce warheads; energetic molecules and ingredients with military applications; the dynamics of failure of high-strength, low weight composites when subjected to high explosive forces; all other aspects with potential warhead application.
  • Defense Week of September 29, under the byline of Frank Elliot, reports on a seminar held 25 September, at the SubBase, Groton, CT, and sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute on “The Future Mix of Submarines and Strategy.” Aimed mainly at the SSN-21, the Navy’s new attack submarine program, Norman Polmar took the position of the devil’s advocate in the seminar — quoting Benjamin Franklin that “agreement produces very little. Disagreement produces debate, and that leads to progress, invention and innovation.” Polmar asserted that the SEA WOLF will not do what was decided by the Navy was necessary to recapture underseas superiority. or the five goals set for the SSN-21, Polmar felt that only the one for quieting would be met. For speed, below-ice ~ovement capability, depth it can dive, and number of torpedo tubes, the SSN-21 falls short of that desired — and its cost would more realistically be *1.2 billion rather than the planned *1 billion. Polmar’s remarks were denied by several submariners — without being backed by facts which are necessarily classified in nature. Polmar expressed concern that the “submariners had failed to develop attack submarines that ar·e affordable in the numbers needed.” He felt that the Navy needs 150 attack boats, “but given the cost of the SEA WOLF, it is doubtful that the Navy can even maintain its goal of having 100 operational nuclear attack submarines.”
  • Armed Forces JQURNAL International, of December, 1986, under the headline “Demise of USAF’s Intellectual Forum,” in a letter to the editor from a Lt.Col. Baucom, USAF, decries the end of the Air University Review “which has served as the professional journal of the Air Force since 1947.” Baucom says, “The death of the Review could not come at a worse time, as the need for fresh, innovative thinking about air power was never greater.” As to the changes “that are currently afoot in air warfare,” a colleague of Baucom is quoted as saying “that the advent of stealth aircraft and other major changes make this as revolutionary an era in air power development as the period which witnessed the advent of the all-metal multi-engine bombers.” The closing of the Review, Baucom concluded, “bodes ill for the intellectual vitality of the Air Force.”
  • An item in Insight of December 1, says: “The Brazilian military has begun a nuclear research program separate from the government’s civilian program. By 1994, the navy plans to test a small nuclear reactor that will serve as a model for a “compact reactor” intended to propel Brazil’s first nuclear submarine — a small one of about 70 meters length. “The navy plans to complete the submarine by the latter part of the 1990s.”
  • Sea Technology of November, 1986, notes that RADH J. B. “Brad” Mooney, Jr., as confirmed on October 8th by the u.s. Senate for a second term as Chief of Naval Research. A former Oceanographer of the Navy, Mooney is popular and well known within both the Navy and the oceanic business and academic communities. He is one of only a few non-nuclear-submariners to achieve flag rank.
  • Sea Technology of November, 1986, also tells or an advanced sea mine to guard against modern submarines in medium water depths. This sea mine will be the product or a joint development program between the U.S. and Britain. The mine is needed according to the article, by the Royal Navy for deployment along the U.K.’s continental shelf. The cost or the mine — expected to enter service in the 1990s — will be shared equally by the two governments.
  • A Navy release announces: “LOUISVILLE (SSN 724) formally joined the fleet during commissioning ceremonies November 8th at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, Groton, CT. “The 360-foot, 6,900ton submarine is the 16th ship in a row that Electric Boat has delivered early.” Also, that “the launching of TENNESSEE (SSBN 734), the nation’s ninth OHIQ-class ballistic missile firing submarine, is scheduled for December 13th at the Groton, CT Electric Boat shipyard. The wife of Admiral Frank B. Kelso, Commander in Chief, u.s. Atlantic Fleet, will be the sponsor and Admiral Kelso the principal speaker.
  • A Navy relese noted the decommissioning or the USS SKATE (SSN 578) at Pearl Harbor on September 12th. SKATE was the first submarine to make a completely submerged Transatlantic crossing, and was the second submarine to reach the North Pole and the first to surface there. ADM J. A. Lyons, Jr., Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet said, at the decommissioning, “SKATE and her crew past and present have earned the respect of the entire u.s. Navy.”
  • Two moves by submarine flag officers were announced in a Navy release. Rear Admiral L. G. Vogt reported for duty as Commander Submarine Group TWO in December and Rear Admiral J. D. Williams reported for duty as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Submarine Warfare, (OP 02B) in January.

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