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Unthinkable - British and French Nuclear Submarines collide

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posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 07:48 PM
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Unthinkable - British and French Nuclear Submarines collide


www.thesun.co.uk

BRITISH and French nuclear submarines which collided deep under the Atlantic could have sunk or released deadly radioactivity, it emerged last night.

The Royal Navy’s HMS Vanguard and the French Navy’s Le Triomphant are both nuclear powered and were carrying nuke missiles.

Between them they had around 250 sailors on board.

A senior Navy source said: “The potential consequences are unthinkable. It’s very unlikely there would have been a nuclear explosion.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 07:48 PM
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Wow. One in a million chance of this happening. Apparently, both subs were in the Atlantic on patrol and didn't hear each other and had a fender bender. The odds seem unimaginable, when you think about the size of an ocean relative to these ships.

I usually read about sub collisions that occur in the course of a trailing operation, but these were friendlies completely unaware of each other. Goes to show just how quiet a modern SSBN is at slow patrol speed.

www.thesun.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:00 PM
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Very fortunate no-one was hurt.

Given that Vanguard has been towed back to base, I wonder if the United Kingdom even has an SSBN on patrol at the moment, it's really short notice to get another boat out to sea.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:13 PM
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I'll say it's a really weird incident.
Not just the likelihood of such incident could happen (with all the modern sensing equipments), but both submarines being intact (a very slow impact).
Maybe they're hiding something.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:14 PM
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I thought they had some sort of radar to detect other objects?

Maybe I'm wrong..



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:33 PM
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Why were they armed with nukes? I didn't think it was common practice to go on patrol with nukes....



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:37 PM
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A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: 'It is our policy not to comment on submarine operational matters, but we can confirm that the UK’s deterrent capability has remained unaffected at all times and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety.


Oh ? Unaffected at all times ... ? Means the Brits had two SSBN's out on patrol at the same time. Seems unusual for a supposedly "minimum deterrent" ... deliberate ambiguity keeps the Russians guessing.

Daily Mail article

[edit on 15/2/09 by Niall197]



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by whoshotJR
Why were they armed with nukes? I didn't think it was common practice to go on patrol with nukes....

A nuclear submarine is a sub powered by a nuke reactor, not a submarine armed with nuclear weapons. Still dangerous if 2 of them collide, but it's not like they both had a bunch of nuke warheads.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:51 PM
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The Vanguard class are the Royal Navy's current nuclear ballistic missile submarines (Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear or SSBN), each armed with up to 16 Trident II Submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The class was introduced in 1994 as part of the UK government's Trident nuclear weapons programme.

General characteristics

* Displacement: 16,000 tons submerged
* Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactor, two GEC turbines, single shaft, pump jet propulsor
* Electrical Power: two Paxman diesel generators, two WH Allen turbogenerators
* Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h) submerged
* Complement: 14 officers, 121 men
* Strategic Armament: 16 Lockheed Trident II D5 ballistic missiles
* Defensive Armament: four 533 mm (21-inch) torpedo tubes, Spearfish torpedoes


What I gather from reading Vanguard wiki entry is that the nuclear deterrent program consists of SCBM Trident Nuclear Missiles (MIRV Capability) and they are always armed.

So yes its nuclear powered, but it is armed with nuclear capabilities as well.

Peace



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by Schaden
I usually read about sub collisions that occur in the course of a trailing operation, but these were friendlies completely unaware of each other. Goes to show just how quiet a modern SSBN is at slow patrol speed


Maybe thats how the collision occurred...during a 'sneak-up to very close range and tailgate in the targets slipstream' kind of trailing manouver.

[edit on 15-2-2009 by citizen smith]



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by TheStev

it's not like they both had a bunch of nuke warheads.

Actually..., the article says:


The Royal Navy’s HMS Vanguard and the French Navy’s Le Triomphant are both nuclear powered and were carrying nuke missiles.

(bolded by me)

...so I guess they did.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by TheStev

Originally posted by whoshotJR
Why were they armed with nukes? I didn't think it was common practice to go on patrol with nukes....

A nuclear submarine is a sub powered by a nuke reactor, not a submarine armed with nuclear weapons. Still dangerous if 2 of them collide, but it's not like they both had a bunch of nuke warheads.


Soory to do this to you...but..it's a SSBN which means that it does indeed carry Trident II D5's, 16 in fact.

Why else would a missile sub be on patrol?? It's carrying out it's Nuclear Deterrence role.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by _Phoenix_
I thought they had some sort of radar to detect other objects?

Maybe I'm wrong..


Hey there Phoenix,

It's called SONAR, which in the acronym for "sound navigation and ranging."

They should have detected each other and now look at the mess. Some poor sub captain or captain's have just lost their jobs over this one. I'll bet that the sonar tech's are in trouble as well.

It's a serious and dangerous game that those boys play and this time they got it wrong.

SeeYa!!



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:16 PM
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It's not unthinkable. You have two vessels that a designed to be undetectable going around the ocean with no knowledge of where the other one was. I'm not surprised that they had nukes on board, sure it was a patrol but what good would it be to have nuclear subs that have to be ready to respond on a moments notice going around the ocean with no nukes?

I am sure both of these subs cruses are going to be cut short due to this incident depending on the amount of damage done. In these situations the only thing you can do is hope it doesn't happen again.

[edit on 15-2-2009 by Styki]



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:26 PM
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Lies. It was no accident. France and England, even as allies, still share some enmity towards each other. They were probably drunk and talking trash to each other over the radios. Then someone thought the wittiest retort would be to "thump" the other sub. Both decided to say it was an accident to hide their stress relieving antics and avoid picking up the responsibility check.

[edit on 15-2-2009 by Lasheic]



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:26 PM
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These subs are so quiet it is no surprise that neither captain heard the other sub. Although it does make me think back to the sub that surfaced underneath a japanese fishing boat killing a few on the fishing boat a few years ago. Maybe there is a flaw in the sonar that needs exploring.

I would also like to point out that it would be really idiotic to send out a nuclear missle launching platform ship out to sea without nukes on board. You can't head back to port, load the nukes up, and go back to sea in the event of a nuclear attack. Yes they were carrying nukes on board both ships.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by whoshotJR
 


Er, actually - yes it is. It's designed to ensure the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction. Even if you sneak attack my countries missile silos, I have nuclear-armed subs which carry ICBMs hidden in the -VAST- oceans of the world ready to strike back against you with enough vengeance to visit as much destruction on you as you did to me. Good luck finding them.

It's a nuclear deterrent, basically, which is for the time being completely indefensible against.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by whoshotJR
Why were they armed with nukes? I didn't think it was common practice to go on patrol with nukes....


Yes, it's common practice.

In the event of an emergency, they wouldn't have the time necessary to return to port to be armed with nuclear weapons... so they typically carry them as a precaution.

If recent times warrant, they would be armed further with anything else they can carry.


As for the other posters question regarding radar. Radar isn't very effective in a conductive medium such as salt water. They use Sonar.

However, even if both ships were to see each other, there aren't any clearly defined rules of the waves for military submarines.
Typically, the rule with military vessels is everyone else gets out of their way... when it's two military vessels, the rules become a little fuzzy.



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by wolf241e
 



Yes, they have sonar but if you're thinking the "PING" that you see in movies - that's not it. That's "Active Sonar" and when used it also pinpoints your location too.
Boomers (Nuclear Missile Subs) are the frakken huge boats that use passive sonar with "ears" on the ship itself, "towed arrays" and remote sensors that are either dropped in real time or the permanent arrays (that are not officially there) already placed in major sea lanes around the world. There is no wave emitted. More like an undersea microphone, but way more sophisticated using algorithms and previously stored "footprints" of sea life and known enemy vessels.

Fast attack subs are the smaller "hunter/seekers" trying to vector and neutralize Ballistic Missile subs.

Niall117 - I'm sure the Brits rang up their US liaison and the USN put a boomer already in the European Theater in place to cover it's patrol.

For those to boomer's to even be close enough to hear each other would be weird, let alone a fender bender (Or, should that be 'diving plane" bender?)

[edit on 2/15/2009 by LatentElement]

[edit on 2/15/2009 by LatentElement]



posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 10:22 PM
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Some thing is very very fishy
first we have 2 satellites crashing into each other now we have this ...Some thing is going on people and we will be the last to know about it



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