Tag Archives: submarine

The 14 Russian sailors who died aboard a top secret spy submarine could have probably made it out

The 14 Russian sailors who died aboard a top secret spy submarine could have probably made it outRather than evacuate, the crew shut the hatch and fought the fire with everything they had it. An explosion is believed to have killed the crew.



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India Almost Sank Its Own $2.9 Billion Submarine by Leaving a Hatch Open

India Almost Sank Its Own $  2.9 Billion Submarine by Leaving a Hatch OpenWater “rushed in as a hatch on the rear side was left open by mistake while [the Arihant] was at harbor” in February 2017, shortly after the submarine’s launch, The Hindu reports. The modern submarine is not a simple machine. A loss of propulsion, unexpected flooding, or trouble with reactors or weapons can doom a sub crew to a watery grave.Also, it’s a good idea to, like, close the hatches before you dive.(This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2018.)Call it a lesson learned for the Indian navy, which managed to put the country’s first nuclear-missile submarine, the $ 2.9 billion INS Arihant, out of commission in the most boneheaded way possible.The Hindu reported yesterday that the Arihant has been out of commission since suffering “major damage” some 10 months ago, due to what a navy source characterized as a “human error” — to wit: allowing water to flood to sub’s propulsion compartment after failing to secure one of the vessel’s external hatches.



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North Korea: A Submarine Superpower or Total Joke?

North Korea: A Submarine Superpower or Total Joke?North Korea’s latest submarine is a step in a different direction, the so-called Sinpo or Gorae (“Whale”) class ballistic-missile submarine (SSB). The SSB appears to blend submarine know-how from previous classes with launch technology from the Soviet Cold War–era Golf-class ballistic-missile submarines; North Korea imported several Golf-class subs in the 1990s, ostensibly for scrapping purposes. Both the Golf and Gorae classes feature missile tubes in the submarine’s sail. The tubes are believed to be meant for the Pukkuksong-1 (“Polaris”) submarine-launched ballistic missiles currently under development. If successful, a small force of Gorae subs could provide a crude but effective second-strike capability, giving the regime the opportunity to retaliate even in the face of a massive preemptive attack.North Korea should by all rights be a naval power. A country sitting on a peninsula, Korea has a long naval tradition, despite being a “shrimp” between the two “whales” of China and Japan. However, the partitioning of Korea into two countries in 1945 and the stated goal of unification —by force if necessary—lent the country to building up a large army, and reserving the navy for interdiction and special operations roles. Now, in the twenty-first century, the country’s navy is set to be the sea arm of a substantial nuclear deterrent.Recommended: America Has Military Options for North Korea (but They're All Bad)



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Kim Jong-un inspects new submarine as North Korea sends message to US

Kim Jong-un inspects new submarine as North Korea sends message to USKim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has inspected a new submarine, potentially signalling continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) programme. North Korean state media has released images of Mr Kim admiring the submarine in a covered fabrication building. The reports have not identified the location of the facility, but satellite images in recent months have shown the construction of new facilities at the Sinpo South Shipyard, on the east coast, and components being stockpiled nearby.  The Korean Central News Agency reported that Mr Kim expressed “great satisfaction” after being informed to the vessel’s capabilities, and that it will “perform its duties in the operational waters of the East Sea of Korea, and its operational deployment is near at hand”.  The North Korean dictator also “stressed the need to steadily and reliably increase the national defence capability” through the development of naval weapons. The release of the photographs coincides with the arrival in Tokyo of John Bolton, the US national security adviser, and is likely to be a signal to Washington that Pyongyang is continuing to develop its military capabilities in the face of international sanctions.  “It’s a typical North Korean tactic; to talk tough and to show that they are not intimidated by the US, that they don’t care that Bolton is in the region and that they are going to continue to take a hard line,” said Robert Dujarric, a professor of international relations at the Tokyo Campus of Temple University.  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a submarine factory in an undisclosed location, North Korea Credit: Reuters “The other message that they are sending is that if the US does not hurry up and do a deal soon, then the North will have even more weapons and an even better military capability”, he said.  North Korea has a large submarine fleet but only one known experimental submarine capable of carrying a ballistic missile. North Korea has made rapid progress in the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) programme and in 2016, after a few years of development, successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, while pursuing an intercontinental ballistic missile programme (ICBM). Talks on the denuclearisation of North Korea have stalled since the collapse of the Hanoi summit in February. Washington says it is committed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination of the North’s nuclear weapons capabilities and insists that sanctions will stay in place until that happens.  Pyongyang is standing firm in its demand for the lifting of sanctions in return for phased moves towards denuclearisation – a tactic that some believe will enable the North to ultimately avoid abolishing its nuclear arsenal.  Lance Gatling, a Tokyo-based military analyst, said that while it is impossible to state categorically based on the photos that this is the North’s first submarine built specifically to deliver nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, that fact that it is in an “enclosed facility to frustrate overhead reconnaissance” indicates that the regime is trying to keep it away from prying eyes.  “They have gone to a tremendous amount of effort and expense to build this thing and to keep it hidden and the only way that we are going to find out exactly what it is will be when they have to bring it out to start doing sea trials”, he told The Telegraph. Experts have expressed concern in the past about North Korea deploying a submarine that is capable of traversing the Pacific ocean and threatening the continental US with ballistic missiles, although Mr Gatling is confident that US and Japanese forces are devoting a lot of time to assessing the new vessel’s capabilities and will be able to monitor its movements very closely if it ever ventures outside North Korean waters.  Analysts said that based on the apparent size of the new submarine it appears designed to eventually carry missiles. "We can clearly see that it is a massive submarine – much larger than the existing one that’s been well known since 2014," Ankit Panda, senior fellow at the US-based Federation of American Scientists, told Reuters. "What I find significant about the political messaging here is that this is the first time since a February 2018 military parade that he has inspected a military system clearly designed to carry and deliver nuclear weapons." "I take that as an ominous signal that we should be taking Kim Jong-un’s end-of-year deadline for the implementation of a change in US policy with the utmost seriousness."



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North Korea's Kim inspects new submarine, signals possible ballistic missile development

North Korea's Kim inspects new submarine, signals possible ballistic missile developmentNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a large newly built submarine, state news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday, potentially signaling continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program. Kim inspected the operational and tactical data and combat weapon systems of the submarine that was built under “his special attention”, and will be operational in the waters off the east coast, KCNA said. KCNA said the submarine’s operational deployment was near.



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French submarine lost in 1968 found at last in Mediterranean

French submarine lost in 1968 found at last in MediterraneanA French submarine that went missing in the western Mediterranean in 1968 has been found, officials said Monday, ending a 51-year wait for families of the crew who continue to seek answers to the naval disaster. The diesel-electric Minerve submarine was lost off France’s southern coast with 52 sailors on board on January 27, 1968. “We found the submarine Minerve last night located 45 kilometres (30 miles) south of Toulon, about 20 kilometres further south than where it was searched for in 1968,” the French maritime prefect of the Mediterranean, Vice Admiral Charles Henri du Che, told reporters in Toulon.



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Spy Sub Down: How a Secret Russian Nuclear Submarine Caught Fire

Spy Sub Down: How a Secret Russian Nuclear Submarine Caught FireA fire broke out on a Russian research submarine earlier this week, killing fourteen sailors in what is Russia’s worst submarine disaster since 2008.Russian authorities have remained tight-lipped on the nature of the data being collected by the submarine and the circumstances of the fire. "On July 1, fourteen submariners – sailors died in Russian territorial waters as a result of inhaling combustion products aboard a research submersible vehicle designated for studying the seafloor and the bottom of the World Ocean in the interests of the Russian Navy after a fire broke out during bathymetric measurements," reads the Defense Ministry’s press release.As of the time of writing, the Russian government and its official channels have abstained from naming the submarine in question; however, it is widely believed to be the Project 210– also known as AS-12, with “AS” referring to “nuclear deepwater station”– Losharik special missions submarine. Losharik is speculated to be a pillar of Russia’s deepwater intelligence gathering program, headed by the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, or GUGI.Russian President Vladimir Putin has since spoken on the matter, but only to express his condolences. Putin added that the submarine was an “extraordinary” vessel, manned by “a highly professional crew.” Seven of the fourteen sailors held the rank of captain and two were “heroes of the Russian Federation” (Russia’s highest honorary title), corroborating the speculation that Losharik occupied a high-level role within GUGI.



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14 sailors killed in submarine fire laid to rest in Russia

14 sailors killed in submarine fire laid to rest in RussiaThe 14 Russian seamen who died in a fire on one of the navy’s research submersibles earlier this week were laid to rest in St. Petersburg on Saturday. The Defense Ministry said the sailors were killed by toxic fumes from the fire. Officials didn’t name the nuclear-powered vessel, but Russian media reported that it was Russia’s most secret submersible, the Losharik.



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Putin bestows top state honors on sailors killed in submarine fire

Putin bestows top state honors on sailors killed in submarine fireRussian President Vladimir Putin on Friday bestowed top state honors on 14 sailors killed in a fire on a secret nuclear submarine in recognition of what the Russian military has called their outstanding bravery. The sailors were killed on Monday when a fire broke out while their deep-water research submarine was carrying out a survey of the sea floor near the Arctic, the Russian defense ministry has said. Putin, in a decree published on the Kremlin’s website on Friday, gave four of the dead submariners Russia’s highest state award – the title of Hero of Russia.



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Vladimir Putin finally admits fire-hit Russian submarine was nuclear powered

Vladimir Putin finally admits fire-hit Russian submarine was nuclear poweredVladimir Putin has admitted that the fire that killed 14 sailors on Monday happened on a nuclear submarine, although the defence ministry said the reactor was not damaged. Ministry head Sergei Shoigu met with Mr Putin on Thursday upon his return from the Arctic naval town of Severomorsk, where the stricken submersible was taken. During their conversation, Mr Putin asked him about the nuclear power unit on board, according to a Kremlin readout. Moscow had not previously confirmed the presence of a reactor and still has not said what kind of submarine was involved, arguing that these are state secrets. Mr Shoigu told Mr Putin that "the nuclear power unit has been sealed off and all personnel have been removed". He also said the cause of the disaster was a "fire in the battery compartment which then spread". The blaze happened on Monday but was only announced the next day by Russian authorities, who have refused to give many details about the incident. Russia rescue personnel return from a dive in a mini submarine to the Kursk on the sea bed Credit: RU-RTR Russian Television via AP It is believed that the fire occurred on an AS-31 deep-water research submarine in the Barents Sea. Nicknamed "Losharik" after a Soviet cartoon horse, it is operated by a navy division responsible for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering and can reportedly dive to depths of 10,000 feet. The submarine is reportedly able to cut underwater cables that carry much of the world's internet traffic. All 14 of the sailors who died were officers, leading to speculation that it was on a top-secret mission. The defence ministry said they were performing "bathymetric measurements" of the ocean floor. One sailor put a civilian in a compartment and shut the hatch to return to fighting the blaze, it said.  Arctic neighbour Norway said it had been informed of a gas explosion on the submarine, but the Russian defence ministry denied this. Norwegian authorities said they had not detected abnormal levels of radiation in the Barents Sea.



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