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Friday, March 19, 2010

Russia plans four test launches of Bulava missile in June

The Russian Navy is planning to conduct at least four test launches of the Bulava ballistic missile at the end of June, a senior Navy official told RIA Novosti on Friday.

"Two Bulava launches will be carried out from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine, followed by two launches from the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear sub," the source said.

"The second test on the Yury Dolgoruky will be a salvo launch," he said.

The Yury Dolgoruky is the first of Russia's Borey class strategic nuclear submarines, which have been exclusively designed for the Bulava, and is currently undergoing sea trials.

The source said that if the tests are successful, both the submarine and the missile could be put into service with the Russian Navy by the end of 2010.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30) is a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). It carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).

The future development of Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry officials following a series of test failures. Only five of 12 Bulava test launches from the Dmitry Donskoy sub have been officially reported as being successful.

Another modernized nuclear submarine to be launched in 2010

The Russian Northern Fleet’s strategic nuclear Delta-IV class submarine K-407 “Novomoskovsk” will be launched after in November after modernization at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk.After a two years long modernization which has prolonged the submarine’s lifetime with approximately ten years, “Novomoskovsk” will be launched in November, news agency ARMS-TASS reports.

K-407 Novomoskovsk

This is the sixth nuclear submarine of the Delta-IV class to be modernized at Zvezdochka in course of the last eleven years. Earlier this year, the submarine “Karelia” was put back in service in the Northern Fleet after five years of modernization, as BarentsObserver reported.

“Novomoskovsk” was constructed at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvnisk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, and delivered to the fleet in 1990. In August 1991 it became the world's first submarine to successfully launch an all-missile salvo, launching 16 ballistic missiles of total weight of almost 700 tons at an interval of several seconds.

In 1996 the submarine conducted the first commercial space launch in the history of the Russian Navy when it launched a carrier rocket with two German scientific micro-satellites while submerged in the Barents Sea.

Two of the best - Dauntless and Astute on sea trials

Glasgow, United Kingdom | Two of the most advanced naval vessels in the world met for the first time this week, as Dauntless, the second of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers, and Astute, the first of class Astute nuclear powered attack submarine, combined on sea trials in the firth of Clyde.

Dauntless and Astute on sea trials in the firth of Clyde

Astute is the most advanced attack submarine ever supplied to the Royal Navy, incorporating the latest stealth technology combined with a world class sonar system, an improved capability for world-wide operations, much greater firepower, better communications and crew accommodation than in-service submarines.

Astute is designed to fulfil a range of key strategic and tactical roles including anti-ship and anti-submarine operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering and support for land forces. Displacing 7,400 tonnes and measuring 97 metres from bow to propulsor, Astute is significantly larger than the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class submarines that she will replace but requires fewer crew to operate her due to the advanced technology and automated systems on board.

The Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyers are the most advanced ships of their kind in the world today. With a primary role to defend a task force from any aerial attack, they are extremely flexible and can provide a wide range of capability ranging from humanitarian relief through to intense war fighting.

Safety Issues Linger as Nuclear Reactors Shrink in Size

When the Soviet Union introduced its Alfa class submarine — at the time, the world’s fastest — the subs were the bane of American sailors. Now, the reactors that powered those submarines are being marketed as the next innovation in green power.

A Russian-made nuclear-powered Alfa class submarine, which could go 45 m.p.h. underwater

Environmentalists say the technology is outdated and potentially dangerous, and marketing it as green energy is an abuse of nuclear power’s good green name.

The Russians are not alone in pushing the idea that the next generation of nuclear reactors should have more in common with the small power plants on submarines than the sprawling installations of today.

The kinds of marine reactors the Russians are promoting, though, also happen to create a byproduct — used fuel — that no one knows how to handle. Right now, that spent fuel is being stored at naval yards in the Russian Arctic.

In most nuclear facilities, the used fuel, which is highly radioactive, is removed from the reactor and stored in a pool of water. But in the Soviet submarine model currently advanced by a Moscow company, the spent fuel ends up frozen along with the reactor and stored away. No engineering solution has been devised yet to decontaminate the fuel.

In fact, the technology caused a number of mechanical accidents when it was used in Soviet submarines from the 1970s until the early 1990s.

Kirill Danilenko, the director of the Russian company, Akme Engineering, said that the technology could be made safe, with no greater risk of meltdown than that at a larger nuclear plant. His vision is that small reactors will become so common that utilities can connect them and “build power plants like Lego sets.”

France offers to join forces with UK's nuclear submarine fleet

France has offered to create a joint UK-French nuclear deterrent by sharing submarine patrols, the Guardian has learned.

A Royal Navy Trident nuclear submarine. Photograph: Corbis

Officials from both countries have discussed how a deterrence-sharing scheme might work but Britain has so far opposed the idea on the grounds that such pooling of sovereignty would be politically unacceptable.

Britain and France each maintain "continuous at-sea deterrence", which involves running at least one nuclear-armed submarine submerged and undetected at any given time. It is a hugely expensive undertaking, and its usefulness in a post-cold war world has long been questioned by disarmament campaigners.

Britain's independent deterrent, based on Trident missiles carried by submarines, could cost the country up to £100bn, according to some estimates, once planned modernisation to the fleet has been completed.

France also maintains a four-submarine Strategic Oceanic Force, with each submarine armed with 16 missiles.

Last September the prime minister said Britain's submarine fleet could be reduced from four to three as a gesture towards disarmament, but the total financial savings were reported as relatively small.

"We have talked about the idea of sharing continuity at sea as part of a larger discussion about sharing defence burdens," a French official said.

Russia marks Submariner Day

Russia marks Submariner Day. In 1906, Emperor Nicholas II decreed the creation of the Russian Navy’s submarine fleet. The first reference dates back to 1718. During the WW II Soviet submarines destroyed 35% of the Fascist ships. As of early 2009, the Russian Fleet operated 60 submarines of different classes. Soon Russia will have new generation strategic submarines of the Borei-class (project 955).


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Northrop to Upgrade Swedish Submarine Navigation Systems

Northrop Grumman will upgrade the inertial navigation systems for Swedish Navy submarines under a new contract awarded by Kockums AB.

Under the contract, Northrop's Sperry Marine will supply five mk39 mod 3C ring laser gyro systems for installation on two Gotland Class and two Södermanland Class submarines, one of which will be used for spares and training.

Swedish Gotland Class submarine

The mk39 mod 3C is a high-performance, low-cost inertial navigation system that provides accurate positioning and precise attitude data to the vessels' SESUB combat management systems.

Northrop Grumman International Naval Systems vice-president Nolasco DaCunha said the mk39 mod 3C offered a combination of advanced performance, superior shock and vibration resistance and traditional Sperry Marine reliability.

The installation work of the navigation systems will be carried out by Kockums AB, and is scheduled to be complete by 2011.

Athens reaches deal in submarine row

ATHENS — Greece on Saturday announced it had reached an agreement with German defence group ThyssenKrupp in a long-running dispute over the supply of four submarines.

The row began when Athens rejected the first submarine supplied by ThyssenKrupp, the Papanikolis, on the grounds that it was defective.

Greek Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos said a resolution had been found for the deal, which has been blocked since 2006.

"We have reached a solution which should be signed on Thursday and which protects the interests of the Greek navy as it means it will finally receive modern, functional submarines," Venizelos said in a statement released by his ministry.

Media reports in Greece suggest that under the agreement, Athens will acknowledge receipt of the Papanikolis, which will be sold to a third party, and order two further submarines from Hellenic Shipyards.

In return, the defence company will drop a compensation claim for breach of contract, reports said.

ThyssenKrupp bought Hellenic Shipyards, near Athens, from the Greek government in 2005 and Saturday's submarine deal should smooth the way for the conglomerate to shed 75 percent of its stake to the Abu Dhabi Mar group.

Trafalgar Class Attack Submarines, United Kingdom

Six Trafalgar Class nuclear-powered attack submarines are in service with the Royal Navy. The submarines were built by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited (VSEL), now known as BAE Systems Submarine Solutions. Trafalgar Class submarines are preceded by Swiftsure Class and succeeded by Astute Class submarines.

The first submarine in the class, HMS Trafalgar (S107), was commissioned in May 1983. The remaining submarines are HMS Turbulent (S87), commissioned in April 1984, HMS Tireless (S88), commissioned in October 1985, HMS Torbay (S90), commissioned in February 1987, HMS Trenchant (S91), commissioned in January 1989, HMS Talent (S92), commissioned in May 1990, and HMS Triumph (S93), commissioned in October 1991.

In December 2009, the Royal Navy decommissioned HMS Trafalgar, the first submarine of the Trafalgar Class. The HMS Turbulent is scheduled for decommissioning in 2011.

Trafalgar class submarine design

The design of the Trafalgar Class is identical to that of the Swiftsure Class submarine. The hull of the Trafalgar Class is covered with the anechoic tiles to absorb the sound waves of sonar. This feature makes the submarine more difficult to be detected by active sonar.

The Trafalgar Class is 2.5m longer than Swiftsure but has an almost identical internal layout. Equipped with strengthened fins and retractable hydroplanes to sail through thick ice, the Trafalgar Class design also incorporates a new nuclear reactor core and Type 2020 sonar.

Trafalgar Class command and control

The Trafalgar Class was earlier equipped with a submarine command system (SMCS), developed by BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies (Insyte). The SMCS was replaced with a new submarine command system next generation (SMCS NG) in December 2008.

The SMCS NG consists of an Ethernet local area network (LAN), multi-function consoles and two large liquid crystal displays.

The system handles large volumes of information and controls underwater weapons. The information received from the sensors is processed and displayed as real-time images on the command consoles.

Trafalgar Class submarine missiles

The Trafalgar Class submarine is armed with Raytheon Tomahawk Block IV land-attack cruise missiles (TLAM). A Tomahawk missile is fired from 533mm torpedo tubes.

The Tomahawk missile has a range of up to 1,600km and a maximum speed of 550mph. It is equipped with a two-way satellite data link that allows the reprogramming of the missile according to varied battle conditions. HMS Torbay was the first Royal Navy submarine to be fitted with the Tomahawk missile in April 2008.
Submarine torpedoes

The Trafalgar Class has homing torpedoes to attack submarines and surface vessels within a 15km range. It is equipped with five 533mm torpedo tubes that are capable of firing Spearfish torpedoes and missiles. These tubes can carry a total of 30 torpedoes and missiles. The Spearfish from BAE Systems is a wire-guided heavyweight torpedo with an active / passive terminal homing sonar. It has a range of 65km at a speed of 60kt.

Military procurement is more important?

During the era of Mao Zedong, there was a great saying "rather nukes than trousers". However, it has turned into a negative adjective later.

Of course Malaysia will not turn into such kind of country. But according to the annual report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the total imports of weapons for Malaysia over the past five years has soared by 722% compared to the previous five years. Even the Defense Minister does not deny it.

Do we need to buy so many weapons? Would the country still have enough of resources to develop education and promote economic transformation after the budget has been spent on military equipment?

Malaysia has been running a budget deficit for 13 years and it is a record-breaking deficit this year, amounting over RM51.1 billion, or 7.4% of gross domestic product (GDP). The central government debt has also made a record increase by 18.3%, reaching RM362.5 billion. It accounts for 52.4% of gross national product (GNP). Averagely, each Malaysian is bearing RM13,426 of debt.

As the financial situation has been deteriorating, the government is trying everything possible to cut expenses, including reducing 20% of school funding, reducing sugar subsidies and it is also planning to increase fuel prices. Schools will now have to bear the cost of utilities and the burden of the poor has been increased. It is really hard to understand why the government still increases military spending.

Singapore's military procurement grew by only 146% and Indonesia grew by 84%, but why has Malaysia grown by 722%, the highest among the three? Old weapons need to be replaced but does it need to surge by seven times? There is no war in Southest Asia, and there is no sign showing an outburst of conflict.

ASEAN has already signed the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone with many countries and Malaysia has also been protected by the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Basically, we are not facing any safety problem. But Malaysia has bought two submarines, six frigates and 26 fighter aircraft over the past five years.

Malaysia spent about RM3.4 billion to buy 18 Su fighters and RM4.6 billion to buy two submarines.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Navy commander 'crashed £32m nuclear submarine after misreading depth reading on chart'

The HMS Superb crashed in the Red Sea after she was steered into underwater rocks - despite the massive stone pinnacle appearing on maritime charts

A Royal Navy commander crashed his nuclear-powered submarine into a shallow pinnacle he failed to spot on navigation charts, a court martial heard today.

Commanding officer Commander Steven Drysdale, officer of the watch Lieutenant Commander Andrew Cutler and navigation officer Lieutenant Lee Blair all admitted an offence of neglecting to perform their duty at a previous hearing.

The court martial at Portsmouth Naval Base was told that the charge relates to the grounding of HMS Superb as it travelled through the Red Sea on May 26 2008.

Captain Stuart Crozier, prosecuting, told the hearing that the submarine had been suffering from technical problems, causing it to lose speed.

He said there was pressure on Drysdale to ensure the submarine arrived in the Gulf on time for planned operations.

Captain Crozier said Drysdale ordered a new route to be plotted which cut about four miles off the previous route.

He also ordered the submarine to dive at a deeper depth where there was colder water, allowing the submarine to travel faster.
The new route was to be travelled at a depth of 250 metres rather than the planned depth of 100 metres.

But when the new route was charted by the plotting officer, who does not face the court martial, all three defendants failed to spot the pinnacle marked on the map as 132 metres deep.

The hearing was told that the pinnacle, which was the sole shallow point in the area, was highlighted on other charts but these were not used by the submarine crew because they had not been approved for navigation.

Captain Crozier said that when the submarine collided with the pinnacle, the vessel was brought to an almost immediate halt.

He said: 'The submarine collided with the underwater obstacle reducing its speed from 16 knots to three knots in a very short time.'

There was a significant amount of damage to the forehead of the submarine but no casualties.

Indonesia Java International Destination at Submanrine Memorial

For travelers, Indonesia Java International Destination event will be interesting because this cover many aspects about Indonesia, including the history. Did you know that Indonesia long time ago has become one of the most feared army in Asia? One of the military equipment of the most feared in the heyday of these are submarine. In 1962, Indonesia has 12 Whiskey class submarine made by the Soviet Union. This type of submarine is one of the best in his time. That is cause enough fear Indonesia at that time, including the Western countries. You can visit the Submarine Memorial named Monkasel in Surabaya City.

Since the independence of the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of Indonesia Navy (Navy) on strengthening the submarine fleet. Indonesia initially tried to make their own submarines in 1947. Then since 1959, Indonesia began to strengthen the sea with a fleet of submarines that Soviet-made SS type Whiskey Class type. In 1962, Indonesia has 12 submarines with torpedoes weapons.

All of these submarines is new. In Indonesia Java International Destination the visitors can visit the Submarine Memorial. In Submarine Monument area, you can see a submarine is large enough.

The name of this submarine is KRI Pasopati with hull number 410. The length of the submarine is 76 meters by 6.3 meters wide.KRI Pasopati submarine is a submarine type type Wishkey SS Class. KRI Pasopati submarine built in 1952 and began to be used in Indonesia on December 15, 1952.

New START Deal Near Completion

The United States and Russia could soon reach agreement on a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired in December, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview published yesterday.

A U.S. Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile takes off in a test. Washington and Moscow might be close to signing a new nuclear arms control agreement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in remarks published yesterday (U.S. Navy photo).

"I'm optimistic that we'll be able to complete this agreement soon," Clinton told the Russian magazine The New Times, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

"It's a technically very complex treaty to accomplish. We share an interest in making real reductions in our strategic arsenals, and that is the most important point," she added (Xinhua News Agency I/People's Daily, March 15).

Clinton is expected to discuss the status of the pending agreement with top Russian officials during a two-day trip to Moscow starting Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged last July to cut their nations' respective strategic arsenals to between 1,500 and 1,675 deployed nuclear warheads under the new treaty. Negotiators have reportedly also agreed to reduce each state's arsenal of nuclear delivery vehicles -- missiles, submarines and bombers -- to between 700 and 800, down from the 1,100-vehicle limit set by the leaders.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Submarine Pic

Remote Control U-Submarine

UK Navy's nuke sub HMS Triumph ready for sea trials

HMS Triumph nuclear submarine of Royal Navy. A Royal Navy Photo

British Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine HMS Triumph is ready to set sail for sea trials after being refurbished for six years.

The vessel will undergo extensive sea trial for three months before being commissioned in the Royal Navy for a second time.

The submarine has been retrofitted at a cost of £300m ($455 million). Capability improvements include installation of latest sonar systems and an upgrade for the Tomahawk land attack cruise missile system.

The vessel has also been equipped with a new command and control system, a new internal fibre optic computer systems network and enhanced satellite communications system. Its safety features have also been enhanced further.

The seventh and last of the Trafalgar Class submarines of the Royal Navy, HMS Triumph was commissioned in October 1991.

UNIQUE Sight At Clyde Base

THE most dangerous submarine in the world has the world’s most sophisticated warship right in her sights – but luckily for all involved they are both on the same side.

Perhaps uniquely, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless and the new attack submarine HMS Astute found themselves tied up at berths six and seven at HM Naval Base Clyde last week.

Both are gearing up for their own separate sea trials in preparation for entry into full service with the Royal Navy and both overlapped in visits to the Faslane naval base by just hours.

Astute is the largest attack submarine ever ordered by the navy and she will spend her 25 year lifespan with Faslane as her home port. Her new Core H reactor never needs to be refuelled and her much increased firepower makes her one of the UK’s most potent means of maritime defence.

HMS Dauntless is the second of her class of Type 45, the largest and most powerful destroyers ever ordered by the Royal Navy and the largest ships ordered for UK defence (aircraft carriers excluded) since the Second World War.

Dauntless is the most advanced warship in the world – all electric powered, its sophisticated anti-aircraft systems can track and destroy a cricket ball travelling at three times the speed of sound.