Originally posted by Kenshin
The Oscar class submarines are the fastest, deepest-diving and just possibly the most expensive submarine in the world. Known as the 'The
Golden Whale' to Soviet sailors, the Oscar's are thought to achieve their very high speed by using an automated liquid-metal cooled reactor of
I'm Just looking at the info about the Oscar, and im pretty sure its the most expensive/advanced submarine in the world!
I would just like to point out the US had a liquid sodium cooled reactor on SSN 575 in the 1950s. The technology in itself was good for its efficiency
but causes many other engineering problems that must be accounted for. In the US Naval nuclear propulsion field, safety is the main consideration. I
believe pressurized water is inherently safer, so that was their decision.
Diving depth and speed are somewhat mutually exclusive. For the boat to go deeper it must have a thicker and therefore heavier hull which makes it
slower. I have read Russia is particularly good with metallurgy and is the only country to successfully field titanium hulled boats. One of their old
models, NATO designation Alpha ? Jane's reported to go down to 3000 feet. But as long as a torpedo can go really deep I don't think there is much
tactical advantage for the boat to go so far down. Bathythermic layers are closer to the surface.
I'm pretty certain that Oscar II class subs are much better than the old Victor
IIIs and Delta IVs, but I doubt they could be considered state of the art. Probably about equal tech to an improved Los Angeles class. But it depends
on what you are considering, just speed and diving depth or things like sonar and fire control electronics capabilities and quieting technology. For
the total picture I think the new Virginia and Seawolf are probably the best out. But what do I know, I've never been on a Russian sub before.
Originally posted by optimus fett
but am i right in thinking that the most powerful people in the world and the most highly vetted for their jobs are nuclear sub commanders?
I would tend to agree. The only thing I can think of that would come close is an astronaut. Only the creme de la creme ever get command of a nuclear
sub. Just to be a junior officer you have to be very dedicated and studious. Working on a submarine is very stressful. In the US Navy, all submarine
officers attend nuclear power school and subsequent training. >95% have engineering degrees going in as JOs. Although just about any bachelor degree
will get you into the program, nuclear power school separates the men from the boys. The flunk outs go to the surface fleet.
After they finish their first sea tour, The most qualified get engineer department head tours, 2nd stringers become navigators, the easiest dept head
tour is probably weapons officer. If you make it past your dept head tour without messing up and have high enough evaluations, an executive officer
tour is next and finally, after all that, you attend PCO (perspective CO school) and about half of those guys don't make the cut. Just to get invited
you have to be pretty studly. At this point you have about 15-20 years into your career. Even the ones that do graduate PCO school are not guaranteed
an afloat command. Ability, leadership and personality all come into play. The burn out rate is pretty high.
All of the submarine officers I've ever known were extremely intelligent and hard working. The professional standards are stratospheric. I can't
think of a tighter vetting process. I have a tremendous amount of admiration for a nuclear sub CO of any country. They have more responsibility than
the CEO of any business yet make a relatively paltry amount of money (Around 100K a year) for what they do.