- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 30 May, tells of a study by the Institute for Policy Studies which notes that 16,000 of the world’s nuclear warheads are made for use at sea. The u.s. and Soviet Russia have between them 15,500 of these sea based nuclear weapons.China, France and England have a total of 600 warheads. The u.s., a~cording to the report, has 5,632 nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles and 3,645 more on cruise missiles, antisubmarine rockets, bombs and anti-air missiles. The Soviets have 3,447 nuclear warheads on their SLBMs and 2,705 tactical nuclear warheads on cruise missiles, torpedoes, etc . . China is listed as having 24 nuclear warheads, one on each of its css-N-3 ballistic missiles. England has 128 strategic warheads and France has 292 strategic warheads.
- Highlights of VADM Bruce DeMars talk at the Submarine League’s Symposium, June 1988, included; ni’m very pleased tt.at the fragility of communications with strategic submarines is now being put to rest by some writings — much of it in the open and some of it done by members of the League here.In the SSBN world we have some 40 plus SSNs underway today all over the world. We have 37 688-class submarines and about 59 authorized and will probably build 65 before the line is terminated. We’re building the improved 688s and have taken the margin from some 250 tons in the original ship in 1976 down to basically zero tons today. The SSN-21 will be commissioned in December of 1994 on the original plan that was laid down some 6 years ago. The operational require-ment for the Mk 48 ADCAP torpedo was written in 1975 and we are very proud that it will start entering the fleet this Fall. Some critical modernization to keep our older SSNs viable are the hull coatings and thin-line towed arrays. The hull coating’s payoff in quieting, reduced noise into your sonar, and reduced reflected echo, etc., is phenomenal. We have program money for thin-line arrays for all 688s and for between half and two-thirds of the 637s. We have managed to hold down crew size on the submarines while capability has increased significantly. We’re out to twelve years between overhauls for SSBNs and are now moving from 7 to 14 years for the SSNs. We have made a revolution in strategic warfare without really realizing it. We’re now preeminent in that area. We should put our mind now toward the revolution that is taking place in naval warfare, and how the SSN contributes to that. We have cost-effectiveness and we have stealth — we have a very stealthy platform. Stealth is becoming increasingly important and so we have to work hard to extend the weapon range of the submarines. How can we extend the punch of this very, very potent weapon system — to project power ashore and ex-tend into third world contingencies and business-es? We’ve built the truck, the SSN-21, that’s on track — and now we need to work hard at acoessor-izing that truck.”
- Sea Technology/July 1988 advises that the A. Perry Foundation and Atlantic Univesity’s Ocean Engineering Department are sponsoring a race for two-person, human-powered submersibles.The competition calls for the designing and build-ing of such submersibles and then competing for the $5,000 Grand prize, on June 23-25, 1989 at West Palm Beach, Florida. Extra prizes of $500 will be awarded for speed, innovations, cost effectiveness, eto.. Submarine buffs who want to join in this action, write M. L. Merrill, H. A. Perry Foundation, 147 Martins Lane, Hingham, HA 02043.
- Navy Times of 8 August reports on the imminent moves of senior admirals. Included amongst these moves are the following submariners: Admiral Kinnaird McKee, Director of Nuclear Pro-pulsion, to retire and be relieved by Vice Admiral Bruce Demars, the current Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare. Admiral Frank Kelso II, now Commander in Chief u.s. Atlantic Fleet, becomes Commander in Chief Atlantic Command and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, (SACLANT). Vice Admiral Nils-H. Thuuman, the Chief of Naval Education to retire in November.Rear Admiral Virgil L. Hill, Jr.,, now Commander Submarine Group 5 becomes Superintendent of the Naval Academy. Rear Admiral James D. Williams, now Director of the Office of Program Appraisal, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, becomes Commander 6th Fleet. Vice Admiral Daniel L. Cooper, Commander Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet, is relieved by Hear A4miral Hoger F. Bacon. Cooper is slated relief for DeMars as Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Undersea Warfare.
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 1 August tells of the expected signing of a Memoran-dum of Understanding on September 6, between the s. and Great Britain to develop a torpedo-defense system. “The project’s goal is to develop a system that can protect surface ships and subma-rines from torpedoes, either by destroying the weapons in the water, decoying them or otherwise disabling them.” Negotiators of this Memorandum of Understanding discussed focussing the joint program on defeating the wake-homing torpedoes used by the Soviet Union. “The idea was, if you can beat a wake-homer, you can beat anything. The consensus within the u.s. and U.K. navies is that they will need the torpedo defense in low-intensity conflict. In such a conflict the torpedoes are likely to be straight runners. It’s not likely they can be decoyed so they’d have to be hit with some sort of anti-torpedo weapon.”
- An important article by Admiral A. H. Trost, USN, the present Chief of Naval Operations, in the Proceedings/August 1988,analyzes the effects that the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev is having on Soviet goals and methods. Excerpting the points Admiral Trost made, of interest to the submarine community, in his “Soviet Politics of Maneuver and U.S. Response,” there is the emphasis that “In remarkably short time, relations between the two superpowers have changed from the politics of stalemate to the politics of maneuver.The new situation poses challenges to international security. (Whereas) the nuclear strategies of both countries contained a low order of risk (because deterrence worked), now there is movement and with movement comes uncertainty.It is clear that the Soviet leadership is as aware of the new uncertainties as we are and is exploiting them.At the end of these maneuvers the u.s. and the Soviet Union must take up new positions.To some extent our perceptions are being managed by the Soviet leadership.Gorbachev recognizes the imperative to correct a tremendous imbalance in Soviet plan-ning, and the mismatch between Soviet resources and Soviet interests — while Soviet military spending absorbs about 16J of the national product.To redress the imbalance, a holiday from the military buildup is indicated. Also, it is the Soviet Union and not the u.s. that is over extended around the world. And, despite an excel-lent educational system and a heavy investment in scientific research, innovation has failed to reach the factory floor. It is proper to ask what are the general principles we should follow in responding to the Soviet politics of maneuver? First, it must be recognized that arms reductions with the Soviet Union cannot be done on a quid pro quo basis since many categories of systems will be asymmetrical. We must test whether meaningful reductions are really the Soviet intent (to adopt defensive” rather than an “offensive’ doctrine). In particular, our naval forces must not become a bargaining chip. . And, our unrestricted use of the sea is more important to us than any agreement (focused on zones of peace). Second, how should the u.s. respond to Glasnost and Perestroika? We must recognize that detente may be dangerous. Our perspective can no longer be rooted in comfortable assumptions. In the poli-tics of maneuver, actions, not words, are the reality.”
- In the Washington Post of August 2, an article about Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci’s visit to the Soviet Union says that the Secretary “accused the Soviet Union of continuing to emphasize offensive military strategies and weapons while claiming at the same time that it is shifting to a defensive doctrine.”
- The Washington Post of 25 July reports a collision between a Japanese submarine and a fishing boat in Tokyo Bay — which sank the boat and killed more than six persons. “The submarine was on the surface, and the collision could have been averted if the fishing boat had not made an unexpected turn.”
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology reports that Congress has authorized only $65 million for FY ’89 to carry on the DARPA administered advanced submarine development program.Congress voted $113 million of FY ’88 and the program calls for about $100 million a year for five years.But because of a slow startup, the $65 m. for 1 89 was felt by the Congress ~o be adequate. The language in the bill restricts the program to basic research; exploratory development and advanced technology development for submarine hull, mechanical and electrical systems and to non-nuclear propulsion technology.
- The Washington Post of 23 July in an article by R. J. Smith discusses the Soviet arms control proposals relative to cruise missiles — used on submarines and ships.The exclusion of these sea-launched weapons from a strategic accord, as recommended by the Soviets, means, according to u.s. negotiator Max Kampelman, that the Soviets “cannot be serious.” A Soviet negotiator said, “The cruise missile is a very tricky weapon. I would even say it is a most destabilizing weapon — because it is a low-flying missile it cannot be seen by (Soviet) radar.” And, “Are there any countermeasures against cruise missiles? I will tell you there are none.” The Soviet’s proposal is to limit each side to 1,000 sea-launched cruise missiles with each side deciding how many would be equipped with nuclear warheads. u.s. and Soviet teams stationed at key naval ports would inspect and count each missile before it was loaded aboard a submarine or ship.Only two types of submarines and one type of surface ship would be allowed to carry sea-launched cruise missiles.
- SUB NOTES/May-June 1988 reports that the German sub, U-27, hit the anchor chains of an oil rig in the North Sea while running at 30 meters depth.”Damage to the submarine was extensive.” The U-27 was on a free play tactical exercise with two other subs and they were “hiding” from ~ ASW surface ships. Another item in the same SQB NOTE$ reports that the French Navy is testing contra-rotating propellers within a shroud on one of their diesel submarines, It has been developed for their SSBNs and will offer improved effeciency and a lower noise signature.
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 13 June notes that the CNO, Admiral Carlisle Trost, had approved plans to devote an SSN 688-class submarine to research and development now.”The submarine will be taken from the fleet. It will still do its annual qualifications and be in some exercises, But it won’t be deployed, so it will be available for R&D work half of the year.” Then in about 1993 when some other sub is in overhaul, it will get modest modifications to enhance its R&D role. The first submarine will be used to test new weapons and sensors.
- The Intrepid Museum of New York City, at 46th Street on the Hudson and centered around the aircraft carrier INTREPID, will add the submarine GROWLER to the museum in about March 1989.At that time she will be transferred from Bremerton, Washington to New York. There will be guided tours or this World War II submarine — made famous by Commander Gilmore’s dying words as he ordered, “Take her down” when the sub was under heavy gun attack and he had been mortally wounded. He stayed on the bridge as the submarine submerged.
- INSIGHT/June 27, 1988 says that Swedish coastal patrols have a go-ahead to destroy foreign submarines penetrating Sweden’s territorial waters.A recent rash of believed-to-be midget submarine contacts in Swedish waters has triggered this use of force to try to cripple or kill suspected intruders.”An unidentified vessel tripped a seabed magnetic alarm near Stockholm last month, and the navy responded by setting off an underwater mine. A few days later, naval vessels in pursuit or another contact unleashed dozens of depth charges and antisubmarine grenades.”
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 4 July reports that the Australian Minister of Defense said that Australia is planning on building two Swedish design conventional submarines using an air-independent, closed-cycle Stirling engine which uses bottled oxygen to run while staying completely submerged . As programmed, Australia would build the first six conventional subs as diesel-electrics, with Kockums of Malmo, Sweden as the assisting contractor. Then seven and eight would have the Stirling engine. “The Swedish now have it inserted into a KNACKEN-class submarine and have tested it under submerged circumstances.” And, “They will be the most significant arm or the Australian Navy (the eight submarines) into the next century. We operate in shallow waters, and the relative silence of the diesel-electrics gives them substantial advantages.” It is also noted that the Australians field a wide-aperture sonar array on their submarines.
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 25 July describes Navy plans to use new stern designs and automated controls for follow-on SSN-21s. The stern configuration on the first SEAWOLF will be a variation on the conventional erose-tail used by current submarines. In addition to the standard four control planes, the SEAWOLF will have two more which will project at ~5 degree angles below the horizontal diving planes.Other alternatives such as a three-plane Y or. X tail will be examined. “The automated control system would be analogous to the computerized ‘fly-by-wire’ con-trol systems used in high performance jets.” A single officer would man the controls.”One significant advantage of the automated controls, is a quieter submarine.”
- The Washington Post tells of psychologists’ observations, relative to submarine duty, at a meeting of the American Psychological Association in Atlanta. “Submariners,” they say, “have significantly lower hospitalization rates for mental disorders than surface-ship personnel.” and that, “submariners have lower hospitalization rates for alcohol, drug abuse and personality disorders than crew members of Navy surface vessels.” In fact, “Submarine duty does not appear to affect the mental health of U.S. naval personnel.” However, these notes of optimism about submariners are tempered by the consideration that tighter psycho– logical and medical screening plus the higher levels of education among submariners may account for the differences.
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 15 August reports that a new shaft of reinforced composites is being developed by the David Taylor Research Center to possibly replace steel propulsion shafts in submarines. A composite shaft is said “to weigh a fraction of the weight of a traditional steel shaft” (at least 50% lighter). Additionally, “composites don’t conduct electricity.” Thus, they don’t produce magnetic signatures which might be detectable and identify a submarine. The shaft would be a composite of glass and carbon in an epoxy resin. By minimizing current flow, corrosion and galvanic effects on metallic parts are greatly reduced. So far, all developmental work on composite shafts have involved surface vessels, but “people are beginning to look at the submarine application.”
- In the same issue of NAVY NEWS it is noted that the commissioning of the SSN 751, the SAN JUAN, on August 6, marks the first operational submarine to have the BSY-1 combat system.It also has retractable planes — in the bow. The newly installed BSY-1 computer system “integrates the vertical launch missiles, the torpedoes and the sub’s three-inch flare launcher systems into one switchboard, making it easier for weapons operators to coordinate an attack, as well as reducing the weight, noise and volume required to house the equipment.”
- The present publicity about Vice President George Bush’s rescue by a submarine in World War II makes FINBACK’s 10th war patrol report of great interest. This portion tells about how R. R. Williams, the skipper, picked up LT(jg) George Bush along with the subsequent res-cue of another pilot, Ensign J. W. Beckman.
2 September 1944
0933 Received word of plane down 9 miles NE of MINAMI JIMA. Started around southern end of CHICHI JIMA, maintaining minimum range of 7 1/2 miles to island.
1156 Picked up LT(jg) George H. W. Bush, File No. 173464, USNR, pilot of plane T-3 of VT-51, USS SAN JACINTO, who stated that he failed to see his crew’s parachutes and believed they had jumped when plane was still over CHICHI JIMA, or they had gone down with plane. Commenced search of area on chance they had jumped over water.
1236 Received word of rubber boat seen from air. Position given was in hills of HAHA JIMA but started south anyway, asking for jigs, repetitions, and confirmations, until we heard one plane state he was circling over the boat. An unknown plane on the circuit was heard to mention a spot “west of HAHA.” This was at least as good as any dope we had, so headed for a position about 9 miles west of HAHA JIMA. This seemed to make our cover feel better, although they tried to conn us through the island a few times. Plane reported that the raft, about 1 1/2 miles from beach, was being shelled. Spirits of all hands went to 300 feet.
1505 Dived to 55 feet with planes in sight zooming a spot in water 1 mile WSW of MEGANE IWA.
1530 Sighted rubber boat.
1550 Roared by the rubber boat, backing full and still making 4 knots. We must have misjudged his mast-head height a bit. We twisted around and started stalking him.
1620 Pilot hooked on and we beaded out away from beach. Tried to make two-thirds speed, but the pilot had one arm around the periscope and the other around the life raft with a bailing bucket bringing up the rear. Stopped to see if he would get in the boat. This took about 10 minutes, during which a discussion developed below concerning the precedence of simultaneous orders to blow, pump, and flood. Finally got way on towing pilot in his boat. Two-thirds speed filled the boat, and there be was in the water again. Finally came up to 38 feet to keep him out of the water until at range of 5 miles from beach, planed up, opened the hatch and recovered the pilot. Got on 4 engines and cleared area to westward. Pilot was Ensign James W. Beckman, File No. 301442, USNR, VF-20, USS ENTERPRISE, who stated that it was known that only one man had parachuted from BUSH’s plane. This decided us to discontinue any further search of that area, particularly as our air cover had left.
A Reuter’s dispatch of 27 August tells of the sinking of the Peruvian diesel-submarine, PACOCHA, on 26 August, as a result of a ramming by a 412-ton, steel-hulled Japanese fishing boat. The PACOCHA, formerly the USS ATULE-403, sank in 110 feet of water off Callao — eight miles west of Lima, Peru. Twenty-three sailors were removed from the forward room of the submarine with the help of Peruvian frogmen and were brought to the surface by means of a diving bell. Twenty-two more of the PACOCHA’s crew were pulled from the sea as the submarine sank.Seven of the submarine’s crew, including the commanding officer, lost their lives in the sinking. A U.S. Navy rescue crew was requested but arrived after the removal of the survivors from the bottomed submarine.
- NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 8 August reports on a paper delivered at the s. Naval Institute’s seminar on 28 July, on the future of the Navy. The author of the paper, K. J. Moore, the president of Cortana Corporation, says that in order to win congressional support or submarine programs, there has been an excessive detailing or submarine characteristics which gives the Soviets “precise information that could help them in war.” He adds, “A wealth of information about the SSN-21 SEAWOLF has appeared in the press, giving the Soviets insight into the submarine’s capabilities nearly a decade before the submarine will have reached the fleet.” The Soviets, Moore said, believe that “secrecy and its relationship to surprise, is a principle or the military art, and seems to be much more important to the Soviets than deterrence.” As for submarine R&D here in the u.s., “Research in the Fifties and Sixties was innovative, but in the Seventies and Eighties R&D has been focussed on reducing risk, to ensure continuing favorable congressional support.” And hence, u.s. submarine technology is likely to stagnate.
- An Associated Press release of 31 August reports on a Soviet book which was published this year, entitled “The Navy: Its Role, Prospects for Development and Employment.” This book was edited by Admiral Sergei Gorshkov and is considered the most important Soviet monograph since Admiral Gorshkov’s 1976 “Sea Power of the State.” The book indicated that the Soviets intend to continue emphasizing their submarine force in the future.It tells of building 50 to 60 knot submarines “in the near term.” And it tells of 2000 meter diving submarines and torpedoes in the future with thermal and laser-homing and speeds up to 300 knots. Three key naval missions are highlighted: (a) destroying strategic submarines or the West, (b) using submarine nuclear strikes to destroy Western military and economic targets, and (c) “destroying hostile naval forces to gain command of the seas around the Eurasian periphery.”
- “Command and Control of Submarine Combat Systems” is being offered as a three-day course at the Professional Development Center of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Fairfax, Virginia, .on 6, 7, and B December 1988. The course is a comprehensive overview of the capabilities and limitations of submarines. T~e unique command and control and communications (C ) arrangements used in submarine warfare as well as the equipment and procedures which support them are explained.
Persons engaged in planning, management, design and production of submarine associated systems and equipments or who have responsibilities for policy, arms control or C3 matters will find the course useful.
The course is classified. A SECRET clearance and a certified “Need to Know” are required.
Reservations can be made and further information obtained by calling Fran Haas at (703) 631-6137 or (800) 336-4563.
- USS ANDREW JACKSON (SSBN 619) is having a decommissioning reunion in Charleston,SC, tentatively scheduled for the second week of March 1989.If interested in attending this reunion, please contact Kevin Lynch,303 Longleaf Road, Summerville, SC 29483.Phone (803) 873-1570 or 743-3826.