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The Washington Post of 29 December, 1989, reported that the President had “extended the territorial waters of the United States from three to twelve miles to conform to the standard set by a U.N. agreement in 1982.” The new sovereignty will extend U.S. jurisdiction to the air space over the 12-mile territorial sea as well as “to its bed and subsoil.” The President also said that ships of all countries will have “the right of innocent passage” through U.S. territorial waters as well as “the right of transit passage through international straits.” (Editor’s note; the right of free passage does not include foreign submerged submarines.)

o A “News Brief” in the Trident Times of 3 February notes that Rear Admiral G. W. Davis VI has been assigned to the job of Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Undersea Warfare) OP-02B, OPNAV, and Rear Admiral H. G. Jones, Jr., has been assigned to the job of Commander Submarine Group Nine.

o An Associated Press release of January 27 says that Admiral David Jeremiah, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, acknowledged that the Soviets in recent months had added a new strategic DELTA-class submarine to their Pacific fleet. The increase, according to Jeremiah, is “in contradiction to a speech by Gorbachev in September in which he said that the Soviet Union would not increase the number of any type of nuclear weapons in the Pacific region.”

o Sea Power magazine of January 1989 has an article by Richard Sharpe, (a former submariner) the Editor of Jane’s Fighting Ships, “Will We Have the Forces With Which to Counter Soviet Naval StrateJies?” Sharpe makes many important points, most of which deal with Soviet submarines, in analyzing the subject be is writing about. First is the trap we are led into through the oversimplification produced by buzz words like “noisy nuclear submarine”, “stealth”, “smart weapons”, “third party targeting” and “computer-aided automation.” Illustrating the latter, he says, “it is astonishing how quickly even the most cynical human mind once again will project itself forward into some science fiction world in which advanced technology solves all combat information exchange problems.” Sharpe does as~ure us that analysis of Soviet maritime policy, if expertly done, can be derived from the prolific Soviet writings on naval matters — which he apparently does not consider to be disinformation for consumption by the West. In assessing the current Soviet Navy capabilities, Sharpe points out that conventional wisdom would say that training and deployment patterns “are the only real indicators of the professional competence of the sailors and the current maritime policy under which they operate.” But unlike Western navies which “believe that efficiency is achieved by being at sea, with few technically skilled ratings, the Soviets are now dependent upon shore-based maintainers to keep their systems on top line and (they) argue that their ships are at highest readiness state when alongside the bases, fully stored, and at short notice to saii.” Secondly, “the inherent distrust by the ruling party of the loyalty of its subordinates” is carried over into a limiting of ::hip deployments. So that, thirdly, though they might worry abou~ “whole ships making wild dashes for freedom” it is mere a case of a shore-command mindset to accept that the effective use of naval forces depends upon giving the scene-of-action commander much more autonomy than may be necessary in a land battle. “So” according to Sharpe, “the command answer is to keep them (Soviet ships) in home waters” with the bonus that “the West may construe (Soviet) intentions as being predominately defensive.” This leads to the 1500-mile zone of defense of the homeland theory held by the West and the “bastion” theory for deployment of SSBNs close to the homeland — along with the need to use a large proportion of the Soviet submarine force in protecting the SSBNs in their bastions. He calls this misconception by the West “a nautical Maginot Line -neatly complemented by the U.S. Maritime Strategy with its emphasis on forward defense and penetration of the bastions (in strategic ASW).” Sharpe shoots down this point of U.S. strategy, noting that Western SSNs “are going to have great difficulty in engaging Soviet SSBNs, particularly if imaginative use is made of defensive minefields, the poor sonar conditions in shallow waters and along the ice margins, and acoustic deception and disruption devices.” But “the West’s SSNs will have little difficulty in decimating the Soviet surface fleet and launching SLCMs against the land bases.” Then be says that, although Western analysts see few Soviet submarines left over from this Maginot line strategy to go after the merchant shipping of the West, the Soviet strategy which “exploits their strength with a much better chance of success is an aggressive forward-deployed policy by all nuclear attack submarines targeting carrier battle groups, merchant ports, naval bases, and reinforcements and economic merchant shipping at focal points preferably in shallow water.” And that, “defense of the home base would be more realistically achieved by diesel submarine barriers.” Sharpe notes that “by concentrating on an intelligence analysis, based in part on peacetime deployments, we are in danger of becoming more vulnerable to a Soviet forward strategy which exploits their real strengths as opposed to a bastion theory which looks to be a recipe for a Soviet self-imposed defeat at sea.” Sharpe emphasizes that “the defender at sea now needs superior forces to the attackers,” and that an aggressive Soviet submarine strategy will likely overtax the defensive forces of the WesL He felt it important to highlight the Soviet’s operational introduction of large numbers of SS-N-21 submarine-torpedo-tube-launched, land attack cruise missiles and the continued development of the longer range SS-NX24 which is earmarked for a new class of SSGN to be launched early in 1989. As for actual cut-backs in Soviet submarine programs in accordance with Perestroika, Sharpe says that “If the Soviets are serious, the path of international stability is to cut out the propaganda and start winding down the shipyards.”

o A note from the Admiral Nimitz Foundation describes a program for the public at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksurg, Texas, on 19-21 May, entitled “Up Periscope! Submarine Operations in the Pacific. 1941-1945.” The Friday evening opening of the Museum’s annual exhibit will be a reception at the Museum for invited guests and will be sponsored by Rear Admiral Chester Nimitz, Jr., Captain Slade Cutter and Rear Admiral C. G. Mendenhall. The formal symposium on the 20th will feature the surviving Medal of Honor winning submariners as well as distinguished WW IT submariners, Admiral Galantin, Captain Beach, Admiral Clarey and many others. Several Japanese submariners will present the Japanese viewpoint in the various sessions. Those interested in supporting the Admiral Nimitz Foundatioin can write to: Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park, P.O. Box 777, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, or call (512) 997-4379.

o A Nayy Times article of 5 December 1988, lists submarine rear admirals (lower halt) who were selected for promotion to two-stars: Ralph W. West, Jr., Director of Human Resources Management Division (OP-15) OPNAV; Larry G. Vogt, ordered as Commander Naval Forces Korea; Henry C. McKinney, Commander Navy Recruiting Command; George W. Davis VI, presently Commander Submarine Group Nine; Walter H. Cantrell, Deputy Commander for Submarines, NAVSEA

o A Nayy Times December 19, 1988 article by William Mathews tells of a speech Ly former Navy Undersecretary James Woolsey in which he says n’~t tight budgets, arms reduction treaties and the loss of overseas bases ..~re trends that will dominate the course of U.S. military change in the near future, therefore “cruise missiles, remotely piloted vehicles and other unmanned aircraft may be the hot weapons of the 1990s.” To keep a strong force forward deployed without incurring the enormous costs associated with aircraft carrier battle groups, he sees sea-launched cruise missiles as a possible answer. AJso, with our Navy threatened by arms control agreements, and with the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty under negotiation prohibiting the U.S. from having more than a dozen TRIDENTS at sea, cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads might be the solution for an adequate strategic nuclear sea-based capability.

o The WashinKton Post of 10 January noted that General Dynamics (Electric Boat Division) was awarded a $726 million contract to build the first SSN-21, SEA WOLF attack submarine. The first SEA WOLF is scheduled to join the fleet in 1995.

o Richard Halloran, writing in the New York Times of October 9, 1988, said that a U.S. Navy assessment estimates that “the Soviet torpedoes armed with conventional warheads, have become so explosive that one hit could put a large American aircraft carrier out of action” and that the report “emphasizes torpedoes rather than cruise missiles launched from submarines – representing a change from five years ago, when American naval officers said cruise missiles were the greatest threat to American warships.”

o An article in NAVY NEWS & Undersea TechnoiOi,V of 30 October 1988, tells of ” a next generation electric torpedo which should join the French fleet next year — an antisubmarine lightweight torpedo called MURENE (meaning moray eel in French). The torpedo is capable of 60 knots, is operational to 800 meters depth and has a battery with an energy density more than triple the capacity of nickel/cadmium batteries. The MURENE’s battery uses seawater to react with aluminum-silver cxide plates to develop 1. 7 volts per cell.

o SUBNOTES, November-December 1988, advertises a one-man sub designed and built by International Hard Suits Inc. – called the SEA URCHIN. The sub can dive to 300 .feet and costs $40,000. In the same issue of SUBNOTES a West Germany company is fitting a closed cycle diesel engine in one of its 4-man SEAHORSE II submarines – of 300 meters operating depth. Using liquid oxygen and diesel fuel, this configuration is expected to be tested at sea within a year. Also in the same issue is an article telling of DARPA’s development of an autonomous underwater vehicle named SCOUT, 40 feet long and 4 feet in diameter. The battery powered vehicle is intended to be used as a bistatic sonar receiver to help provide a 3D sonar picture for the launching platform. A smaller version may be developed to be launched by SEAWOLF-class SSN-21 submarines.

o NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technoloi)’ of 7 November 1988 tells of a French invention of large (1.5 by 3 feet) hydrophone-type, 2-inch thick panels to be attached along the length of a submarine — instead of conventional hydrophones. The panels are made up of a rolled film of alternating layers of piezo-electric films and metallic electrodes. Sea trials have reportedly confirmed that these panels “give a better signal to noise ratio, and a longer (passive) detection capability – compared to classical ceramic hydrophones.” The device is “akeady in service with the Norwegian Navy and is scheduled for the new generation French ballistic missile submarines.”

o In the PROCEEDINGS of February 1989, Fleet Admiral V. N. Chemavin, Commander·in·Chief of the Soviet Navy, answered questions posed by the U.S. Naval Institute. When asked “What is the relative importance of submarines, surface ships and aviation in naval doctrine?” he answered, “We consider both nuclear and diesel submarines along with naval aircraft to be the main forces of the fleet. They are intended above’ all to hit those of the enemy’s strike groupings and those areas of the World Ocean that pose a threat to our country. In this case, diesel submarines will operate mainly in areas adjacent to the Soviet coast. They are capable of making a weighty contnbution to raising the effectiveness of the naval forces’ defensive operations  they may be seen as one of the navy~s main defensive forces in fighting at sea: Then as to surface warships: “We consider surface vessels to be forces intended mainly for the defense of our sea boundaries, lanes and coast. They also play a large role in anti·submarine warfare.” As for naval aircraft: “The main purpose of naval aircraft is to support and cover the fleet’s forces from the air, first of all submarines on their routes and their emergence from base, and surface vessels in areas of combat operations and transports in passage. The missile carriers will also be used for strikes against enemy groupings in long range approaches to our defense boundaries.”

o In the December 1988 issue of the PROCEEDINGS, a study is described of how effective Soviet subs might be against the resupply shipping for a big NATO ground war. The study notes that “merchant ships in a conventional war today would be more wlnerable than their counterparts 45 years ago.” It is recognized that although, since ww n, the U.S. ASW forces have greatly improved the detection of submerged subs with sonar, and they’ve acquired ASW patrol aircraft and helicopters and faxed passive arrays, totally submerged operations of Soviet nuclear submarines plus reduction of surface time by Soviet diesel submarines “somewhat offset these U.S. ASW improvements. The study, using assumptions based on the probable number of Soviet subs assigned to the North Atlantic convoy interdiction mission plus escorts available from NATO, shows that in the first 10 days of convoy operations, about half of NATO’s 600 merchant ships would make it to Europe at a cost of 52 Soviet SSNs or SSs — hence, “the Soviets would have been quite successful in blocking the resupplies from reaching NATO forces in Europe.” Twelve escorts would have been lost as well.

o Business Maeazine of November 1988 has an article by William Hoffman which describes a “resonant nuclear battery which uses nuclear wastes for fuel oil. The battery harnesses the radiation emitted by radioisotopes, such as strontium-0, and converts it directly into a continuous AC current. When operational, the battery is expected to have a 100-year life and cost approximately five cents per kilowatt.” A prototype of the Nucell battery has been operational for limited periods of time. Measuring 18 inches in diameter by 36 inches tall, it supplied enough electricity to power five houses at peak load. “Production is perhaps three years away,” and, “If it works, the battery should yield up to 100,000 times as much energy per weight of isotopes as the best conventional nuclear battery.” The principle is described thusly: the nuclear batteries used in satellites are basically heat driven with their nuclei of radio isotopes emitting alpha and beta particles which collide and produce heat. For such batteries, only about 5% of the available heat is converted into electricity. In the Nucell battery, “the particles act like electric currents in their moving, charged state. Like all currents, they have a magnetic field around them. These fields collapse as the randomly moving alpha and beta particles collide, slowing them down. Electricity can be produced if all the magnetic fields can be made to point in the same direction while collapsing.” The inventor, Brown, found a way to organize the magnetic fields and solve the nuclear Rubie’s cube.

o NAVY TIMES of 27 February 1989, notes that the seniors (First Class) at the Naval Academy, on February 7, made their selections for duty after graduation. Those who chose submarine duty were in greater numbers than in the previous two years. In 1987, 142 chose submarines; in 1988, only 119 chose submarines; but in 1989 the figure is 181. In all three years the graduating class strength was about 1050.

o Recent selectees to the rank of Rear Admiral (lower half) were: Douglas Volgenau, Director Submarine Combat Systems, NAVSEA; George W. Emery, Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Navy; Millard S. Firebaugh, Program Manager SSN-21 Class Submarine Acquisition; David M. Goebel, Deputy Director Strategic Submarine Division, OPNA V; Howard W. Habermeyer, Jr., Commandant U.S. Naval Academy; Karl L Kaup, Director Strategic Submarine Division OPNAV; James R. Lang, Director Ship Maintenance and Modernization Division OPNA V; George R. Sterner, Program Manager, Mk-48 ADCAP, NAVSEA.

o Defense Week of February 21 notes that “‘The Navy’s plans to equip its TRIDENT C4 and POSEIDON C3 ballistic missiles with a Navstar Global Positioning System navigation aid will be delayed two years because of budget cuts.” Spending on improvements to the two nuclear missile systems was trimmed $11.5 million in FY ’88, and $15.4 million in FY ’89 — delaying the outfitting of the missiles with equipment to receive signals from orbiting Navstar satellites.

o In the same edition of Defense Week, a note says that the first full-function AN/BSY-1 Combat ControVAcoustic System was delivered by ffiM to NAVSEA for installation on the MIAMI, a 688-class attack submarine. A significant capability improvement for 688s, .. it integrates navigation sonar and weapons system data to provide improved target detection and localization.”

o NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of 16 January shows the Budget requests for weapons. Of interest is the buy of TOMAHAWK cruise missiles, used by submarines: FY ’89 has a buy of 510 at a cost of $635 million; the FY ’90 request is for 400 at a cost of $572.2 million; and FY ’91 requests 400 at a cost of $662.6 million. The SEA LANCE antisubmarine missile which can be torpedo-tube launched is funded at $198.5 m. in FY ’89 for development costs, for FY ’90, 200 are requested at a cost of $260.1 m., and for FY ’91, 270 are requested for $328.5 m. Mk-48 ADCAPs’ buy for ’89 is 320 at $485 m., for FY ’90, 320 are requested to cost $493.6 m., and for FY ’91 320 are requested at $408.8 m.

o Jane’s Defense Weekly of 11 February notes that the Peopte’s Republic of China had tested its first deep submergence rescue vehicle. Capable of rescuing submarine crews up to a depth of 600 meters, it has a crew of four and can rescue up to 22 personnel per trip to the surface. It is equipped with underwater 1V, a manipulator arm, position fiXing sonar, and acoustic imaging sonar.

o Aviation Week & Space Technolou of 30 January says that the Navy successfully conducted its final flat pad test of the TRIDENT-2 05 missile on 26 January and will commence submerged tests in March from the TENNESSEE.

o Jane’s Defense Weekly of 18 February tells of approval of a plan to withdraw the MEMPIDS (SSN-691) from service later this year and make her an interim” platform for R&D projects. Modifications to configure a permanent platform for R&D will be made during refuelling over)lauls in 1994. “By designating an R&D submarine, the navy will increase its flexibility to test concepts — primarily those which lend themselves to rapid prototyping.”

o Defense Week of 21 February, has an article by Anne Rumsey which says, “Serious concerns about the adequacy of operational and live firing tests of the Mk-48 torpedo arose from two General Accounting Office studies — the ADCAP (tests) had several limitations and the GAO had concerns with whether the mission capability would be demonstrated before they are delivered to the fleet.”

o The Washington Post of 23 February reports, in an article by Molly Moore, that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s military budget cuts forced the Soviet Navy to scale back submarine production, reduce Pacific fleet operations, keep vessels in port longer and spend less time at sea — the U.S. Navy’s chief intelligence officer told a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.” However, according to Rear Admiral Thomas A Brooks, director of U.S. naval intelligence, “technological improvements in new submarines have left the Soviet navy more capable now than when Gorbachev came to power.” Brooks also reported that “Soviet naval exercises last year were relatively short and were conducted near the Soviet mainland.” And that, “the exercises emphasized defense of the homeland and submarine bastions.” Brooks also reported “that the decline in steaming hours and the increased time at anchor has also increased the number of ships in port ready to respond to an enemy attack, thus improving the ability of the Soviet navy to transition rapidly to war.”

o An article in The Beacon. January/February 1989 by Alva Chopp tells of LTGg) Alex Will putting on a pair of hand-me-down, well-worn gold dolphins when he qualified in submarines last November. “Was he disappointed?” No way! The dolphins had belonged to his father John Will Jr., and before that to his grandfather “Dutch” Will. Young Alex is serving in SIL VERSIDES as reactor control assistant. “He’s only been in the Navy for three years, but has already made three North Atlantic deployments on SILVERSIDES.” Alex’s father, John Will Jr., was commanding officer of the nuclear powered PUFFER and later commanded the submarine tender CANOPUS, based in Rota, Spain. Alex’s grandfather, Dutch Will (John M. Sr.), commanded the fleet boat PORPOISE before World War II and had a submarine division at the start of WW II. He commanded the Navy’s Military Sealift Command before retiring. He died in 1981.

(This article raises the question, “Are there any other 3-generation submarine families that should be noted in the Submarine League’s FACf BOOK?)


Individuals who desire to enter the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program and then serve as submariners. and who are in their junior year or recently graduated from a college. must be exceptional engineering students.

A qualified applicant can enlist as an E-3 during his junior year of college and will earn about $1.000.00 per month. After one year he advances to E-4 and upon graduation he advances to E-5. After completing Officer Candidate School (OCS).

he is commissioned as an Ensign, USNR, and commences Nuclear Power Training and drawing submarine pay. A college graduate selectee becomes an E-5 when he attends OCS. Each individual entering the NUPOC program receives a $4,000.00 accession bonus. After completing nuclear power training, he receives an additional $2,000.00 bonus. As an active duty member of the Navy, the NUPOC selectee qualifies for all the benefits and privileges associated with active duty (medical, dental, commissary, exchange. etc.).

Applicants interested in pursuing this program should contact a nuclear officer recruiter at the nearest Navy Recruiting District. Additionally, information can be obtained by calling the Navy’s toll free number 800-327-NA VY or by calling Commander Kai Repsholdt at Navy Recruiting Command, Washington, DC. {202) 696-4733.

To continue the successful trend of the NUPOC Program. we need the support of Submarine Leaguers in helping us inform the following people about the NUPOC Program:

– College leaders (President, Deans, Placement Counselors, Guidance Counselors)

– Professors in engineering related courses.

– Individual students

– Technical clubs

Any assistance given will be a great contribution to the continued excellence and readiness of our Navy.

Naval Submarine League

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