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  • A special newsletter regarding the Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport, Washington, sends the especially good news that a Federal Government grant of $3.5 million for the Museum was included in the FY 1989 Navy Operations and Maintenance Appropriation Bill — signed into law 1 October, 1966. Together with funds already raised, the nearly $7 million will permit complete construction of the facility except for the proposed auditorium and should have the Museum ready for tourists “some time in mid-1989.” Congressman Norman Dicks spearheaded this Congressional support. The newsletter states that “at least $450,000 more funds will be needed to complete the construction and outfitting of the auditorium.” Also, that the TRIESTE II arrived at Keyport in August and “signifies the Museum’s stature as the Navy’s primary site for the collection, display, and study of artifacts, documentation, and other materials associated with the underseas.”
  • Navv Times of 10 October reports that the diesel-electric submarine BONEFISH was retired 28 September, five months after a fire in the submerged submarine killed three crewmen and forced the others to abandon ship. USS BONEFISH was commissioned in 1959 and was the last diesel sub in the Atlantic Fleet. Three other diesel submarines are still in the Pacific Fleet.
  • The TRIPENT Times of 12 August reports that a decommissioned destroyer, the JONAS INGRAM, was sunk by ·a Mk-48 ADCAP torpedo on 23 July. The test was the first live warshot firing of an ADCAP torpedo and completes a rigorous year-long testing program.
  • Defense News of November 28, 1988, in an article by Peter Adams, notes that SDI phase-one planners are looking at submarines as a possible basing mode for future tactical ground based radar. The concept pictured, sees a submarine with radar onboard, surfacing at the time of ballistic missile attack. “The radar would be exposed, receiving the data from sensors in space — the data helping to discriminate actual missile warheads from the thousands of decoys during an attack.”
  • o SQB NOTES says that the Norwegians have spotted a Soviet 16,000 ton SSBN support ship, which is now operational in the Barents Sea. “She is equipped to carry at least 16 ss-N-20 SLBMs for an at-sea reload of TYPHOON class SSBNs.”
  • In the same issue of SUB NOTES, an article tells of a Norwegian Air Force plane photographing a retrofitted YANKEE class submarine in the Norwegian Sea. The YANKEE, formerly an SSBN, has been converted to a cruise missile carrying SSGN “which may carry as high as 40 SLCMs in the amidships missile compartment.” The YANKEE was the test boat for the latest S-NX-24 missile — with its estimated range of 2000 nm.
  • Also, SUB NOTES mentions that RADM Bill Studeman, USN, “has said that the Soviet Union continues to deploy CLUSTER LANCE acoustic arrays along its Pacific coastline.” He also pointed out that “the Soviets may be deploying ASW arrays around their ballistic missile submarine operating areas in the Greenland, Barents and Kara Seas. In addition, the Soviets may be testing longer range low-frequency arrays that could be mounted on the permanent Arctic ice pack.”
  • General Dynamics World of October 18, 1988, announced the Navy’s awarding of a contract in October to Electric Boat, for the 16th TRIDENT submarine. This marks the second award of a TRIDENT to EB in 1988 — the contract for the 15th being awarded in January, 1988. A competition with Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company for three TRIDENTS was won by EB, so that EB can exercise an option for the 17th TRIDENT when that contract is awarded some time in 1989. Congressman Gejdenson of Connecticut said that this contract “is particularly important because it drives the final nail into the coffins of those who argued for a dual sourcing of TRIDENT submarines.” It was also noted that the likelihood for another contractor to complete the program for 20 submarines, other than EB, had become highly unlikely.
  • NAYY NEWS & Undersea Technology of Sept. 19 reports that a KNACKEN-class submarine fitted with a closed-cycle Stirling engine was launched in September and would commence sea trials in October. The engine runs on liquid oxygen and diesel fuel. A Kockums source said that he expects the submarine to be capable of staying totally submerged for two weeks.
  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of Oct. 31, 1988, has an article by Stan Zimmerman reporting that the French unveiled a submarine design for a 231 ton submarine at their Exposition Navalle. The submarine, called the SAGITTAIRE, is capable of transiting more than 2000 nautical miles and uses an air independent Stirling engine. “One version has 6 torpedo tubes for torpedoes, another version provides a pair of swimmer vehicles allowing up to eight commandos to leave the submarine undetected and return. (The six torpedo tube doors can be easily replaced with doors for the swimmer vehicles). The “boat” is about 100 feet in length and 24 feet in height. Speed submerged is placed at 17 knots.

In the same issue, Doug Rekenthaler Jr’s article on the Canadian sale of nuclear submarines (the SSn) to Turkey, places the sale as “imminent.” The sale by Canada of 5 nuclear hybrid submarines to Turkey has been approved by all sixteen non-proliferation treaty (for nuclear things) member nations. These submarines are designed by Strata Corporatior. of Nova Scotia and use a low power nuclear reactor to continuously charge huge batteries which actually run the submarine. Independent of the atmosphere, such submarines offer “the autonomy of a nuclear sub with the stealth of a diesel-electric.” The Strata hybrid is not being considered as part of the Canadian’s program for purchasing 10-12 nuclear attack submarines (of either British TRAFALGAR or French RUBIS type).

In the November 7th issue of the same news source, the French exhibited a composite propeller for a submarine and demonstrated its lighter weight than bronze alloy propellers, its reduced acoustic signature, its elimination of corrosion and reduced magnetic signatures, its toughness and its uniformity of manufacture. “We can make them all exactly identical, and eliminate minute differences that add to a submarine’s acoustic signature.” Using composites (carbon fiber reinforced plastics), shows great promise for making lighter many parts of a submarine: decks, bulkheads, external non-pressure hull plating, shafts, etc. However, for use in a pressure hull, the degree of reinforcement necessary at penetration points appears to be a distinct disadvantage.

In the same issue of November 7th, it is noted that a French company is promoting large panels of hydrophones to be attached along a submarine’s hull for passive sonar pickups. These panels, made up of layers of piezo-electric film alternating with metallic electrodes “promise a variety of advantages over conventional ceramic hydrophones — greater sensitivity, better beamforming, resistance to explosions, high reliability and easy maintenance,” are advantages cited. Rectangular panels of about 1.5 by 3 feet and two inches thick, attached along the length of a submarine should “give a better signal-to-noise ratio and a longer detection capability” than present array hydrophones. These new hydrophones are in service in the Norwegian navy and are scheduled to be installed in French ballistic missile submarines. “At present the system can only provide bearing information on frequencies below 5 kHz.” But the panels, which can be recessed into a hull to prevent drag, “have a reduced sensitivity to flow noise and can be encapsulated in a polyurethane polymer.”

  • A news item from Boca Raton, Florida, tells of a 21-foot submarine found off Boca Raton.It is believed that this submarine, submergible by remote control, was being used by drug smugglers who hid their drugs inside the submarine and sank it on the approach of drug agents. The submarine had 4000 pounds of lead bars in it as ballast -when found. It has no port holes and is “not designed to carry passengers.”
  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of Oct. 17th reports that a contract was given to Kollmorgen Corporation in September for development of a prototype non-penetrating periscope. The only penetration of the hull being a small hole for fiber optic wires which lead from a periscope in the sail to the control room. The periscope optics can then be transmitted to wherever video monitors are located. No longer need the control room be directly under the periscope nor need the Captain press his eye to the lens for viewing the seas above him. Now, the control room can be built wherever the Navy wants it to be located inside the submarine, and the crew can see what’s going on by viewing television screens. By getting rid of the bulky periscope mast and its attendant hydraulics, many of the characteristics of submarines can be changed -for example, the sail’s size and location. “The prototype represents the first of its kind in the world, and could conceivably be constructed in 18 months.”
  • In the same publication, but of October 10, the results of a study by the Congressional Research analyst Ronald O’Rourke show that “in terms of procurement and life-cycle costs, a notional eight-ship aircraft carrier battle group for the 1990s is equivalent to 12 to 21 SSNs. One might then envision a fleet not with 15 battle groups and 100 SSNs but with perhaps 13 battle groups and 124 to 142 SSNs.” Also, A force of 12 to 21 SSNs would require about 4,800 to 6,200 fewer personnel to man than a battle group; this figure being equivalent to about 1S of Navy end strength.” And, “using cheaper 688-class boats, the numbers are even higher with one battle group equating to 14 LOS ANGELEs-class submarines.”
  • The Washington Post of November 9, tells of the GROWLER, the Navy’s first nuclear missilecarrying submarine, being towed to Tampa, Florida from Washington State. It will be added eventually to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York at Pier 86 on the Hudson River. GROWLER will be overhauled in Tampa before being towed to New York City in March. From 1960 to 1964 GROWLER and her sister sub GRAYBACK patrolled the seas with REGULUS missiles onboard — on deterrence patrols.
  • NAVY NEHS & Undersea Technology of 24 October notes that the French Navy is attempting to purchase U.S. EC-130 TACAt-20 aircraft in the 1990s — when the u.s. replaces these aircraft with E-6As, a Boeing 707 derivative. The TACAMO aircraft trails a long wire antenna for broadcast (on a very low frequency.) of communications to submerged submarines. The aircraft tows a pair of wires, one about 5,000 feet long and the other 30,000 feet in length. The larger wire reradiates the signal transmitted by the shorter antenna.
  • In the Times-Herald of October 29, 1988, an article by Molly Moore tells of the 10 u.s. ocean surveillance T-AGOS class vessels which tow linear arrays for the detection of submarines. These 224-foot, civilian crewed surveillance vessels, which use the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System to complement SOSUS, P-3s on patrol, submarines on surveillance missions, and destroyers with towed passive sonar linear arrays, significantly expand the Navy’s ASH ability to detect and track enemy submarines.
  • The news item taken from the Nayal War Colle2e Review, Spring ’88, which was in the July issue of the SUBMARINE REVIEW and which dealt with Soviet Spetznaz teams being deployed to target areas by small Soviet submarines, neglected to mention the author of the article, Marc J . Berkowitz, from whose article the material was digested.
  • A picture in Jane’s Defense Weekly of 8 October, illustrates the type of pressure hull rupture which the Soviets are training their submarine crews to be able to shore up, and save their submarine. As shown, a damage control team wearing immersion suits and breathing apparatus is conducting a damage control exercise on a submarine damage simulator. A wide variety of other emergencies such as leaks, fires, collisions etc., are being trained for in this fashion.
  • A translated article from the Soviet NAVAL AFFAIRS by Captain 1st Rank Ye. Nikitin, is titled In the SSN’s Periscope — the 21st Century. It describes the U.S. Navy’s newest attack submarine, the SSN-21, SEA WOLF (sic) nuclear submarine. The article says (in setting the stage for the SSN-21) that the 688s were designed for a relatively narrow range of missions, namely closein ASW cover for carriers and for combating submarines of the probable enemy. The article further notes (after a lengthy discussion of 688 problems in the Arctic) that the 688 “in the opinion of u.s. Navy command authorities, is not sufficiently capable of conducting combat in the polar latitudes.” Also that “Foreign specialists feel the weak side of the LOS ANGELES class SSN is that it is not sufficiently outfitted with the different weapons to carry out a modern battle at sea.” The article then described the SEAWOLF design. “A qualitative breakthrough in the words of Pentagon strategists.” It is noted that the SEAWOLF “will be built and equipped on the basis of effective use in Arctic regions.” It emphasizes “noiselessness, great firepower, and capability to fire a large number of torpedoes in one salvo.” In oneon-one combat, “the submarine (quoting Vice Admiral Thunman) will prove to be far more effective than what we have or anything that I see in the future.”
  • An article by Viktor Pavlov in .Dl~ Soviet Military Reyietz, July 1988, describes the present Commanding Officer of a TYPHOON submarine, the MINSKY KOMSOMOLETS, Captain 1st Rank Eduard Rybakov. He was a recipient of the Red Banner in 1987 “for success in combat training and political education.” His submarine had earned the Naval Commander-in-Chief’s prize for missile firing and a Red Banner from the Party regional committee. When higher headquarters asked if Rybakov’s submarine could take the lead in an all-navy emulation drive, the Captain and his deputy for political affairs “decided that the crew would be able to take the lead.” Rybakov is forty-two, but it is noted that “when clever enough, one can become a submarine commander in his early thirties.” Rybakov’s first wife had left him when “Eduard was at sea for months and the polar garrison could not offer her as many amenities as her Leningrad home.” Then Rybakov met Valentina, “the girl (who) could see a kind and sensitive soul behind Rybakov’s detachment, terseness and forbidding look,” and then married him. He took command of the TYPHOON in April 1985. After he stepped aboard, his first words to the crew were “I want everyone to know that I am not going to hush up any fault or misconduct on the ship.” The first year his submarine, rated as a “model ship” had so many reported failures and misconduct acts that the sub fell to second last in the submarine fleet ratings. But he did something. “No breaches of duty remained unnoticed. Some alcohol abusers were penalized, some discharged,” and “breaches of duty began to fall steadily.” Strict discipline alone did not do the job. Rybakov’s golden rule was “Never ask subordinates to do their duties without first making them enjoy their rights.” Thus, “when the submarine was in homeport, the men were told to go ashore exactly at 6 p.m., no matter what reasons they offered to stay over.” And “the officers got used to it soon. They gradually learned to ration their working hours with enough time for self education or for studying a related specialty.” The wives of the crew did their bit too -“suggesting celebrating hoHdays in company.” This meant that officers and mitchmans joined company with the ratings’ families for prearranged festivals — giving them a better chance to get acquainted. Also, “the crew has recently becorue keen on playing football. The Commander plays too, despite his status.”
  • An article by LCDR Michael Gouge, USNR, in the Proceedings of December 1988 shows the results of a comprehensive analysis of Allied merchant shipping losses in a war with the Soviets. The author assumes that ASW improvements since World War II have been more than offset by “the infinite endurance of the nuclear submarine and reduction of surface time by Soviet diesel submarines.” His analysis then, of convoy shipping losses to Soviet attack submarines in the opening days of a big NATO-Soviet sea war, shows the losses to be unacceptable and that without enough U.S. cargoes of resupply materials being fed to the NATO land forces, the Allies ground forces “are not strong enough to win a quick war.” Also, that Allied ASW forces cannot win a war of attrition against the large Soviet submarine force deployed against resupply shipping in a protracted campaign. Gouge, in the Naval Control of Shipping program since 1984 has assumed that about 35 Soviet SSNs or SSs will be assigned to North Atlantic convoys with 20J on station against any single convoy. The exchange rate he uses is 7:1, (a very modest assumption, and he still gets unfavorable results). Gouge’s analysis merely notes that additional ships are likely to be lost to Soviet land-based aircraft using standoff missiles as well as “covert mining of choke points near the approaches to European ports.” How many is not evaluated.
  • In the same issue, James George recommends that the u.s. plays, for a few more years, a “kick the can” game (putting off serious discussions) for reducing SLCMs in the imminent arms control negotiations. This “will allow the United States to study the real importance of the SLCH (particularly for submarines) in the post INF and START world.” See Dr. Lacey’s SLCM article in this issue.


A Submarine Technology Symposium will be conducted at The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, on 23, 24, and 25 May 1989. The purpose of the Symposium is to provide a classified (SECBET-NOFOBN) forum wherein those technologies that may be important to the capabilities of submarines and related systems can be advanced and examined by experts in government, industry and academia. The objective is to broaden the technical base available to the Navy and to assist the operational availability of that important technology. The theme of this Symposium will be, “The Technologies to Support the New and Expanded Submarine Boles and Missions.”

Dr. Walt Grabowski of APL will serve as Program Chairman and Mr. Bill Chambers, also of APL, will take charge of all administrative and logistics arrangements for the Symposium.

A call for technical papers has been promulgated. Session chairman will select the most promising papers for presentation.

Attendance will be limited to 500, the seating capability of the Kossiakoff Center. League members holding a current SECRET clearance and a certified need-to-know who are interested in participating in the Symposium may obtain additional information by writing to:

The Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory
Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20707
ATTN: Mrs. J. M. McLoughlin

or by calling (301) 953-6151

View full article for table data


As college tuition costs continue to rise, parents and college students look for new ways to foot the bill. Submarine service families have a possible resource — The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation.

The Foundation is currently providing financial assistance to 90 students. Twenty-five are freshmen. Since 1961, 367 scholarships have been granted.

During the 1989 college year, the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation will award $1,750 to each of approximately 25 college-bound freshmen seeking bachelor degrees.

The Foundation will renew the scholarship annually to students in good academic standing through their senior year. Those eligible to apply for the scholarship awards include children of members, or former members of the u.s. Navy, who have served a minimum of either five years in the Submarine Force (subsequent to qualification), or six years in Submarine Force support activities. Children of submarine sailors who died while on active duty in the Submarine Force are automatically eligible to apply for a Dolphin Scholarship.

Information about these Scholarships is available by contacting any Submarine Officers Wives Club representative or by writing to: DOLPHIN SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION, 405 Dillingham Blvd., Norfolk Naval Base, Norfolk, VA 23511; or COMMANDER NAVAL MILITARY PERSONNEL COMMAND ( Nl-1PC641D), Navy Department, Washington, DC 20370. The deadline for acceptance of applications is April 15, 1989.

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