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US Nuclear sub has hit an unknown object in the South China sea

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US Nuclear sub has hit an unknown object in the South China sea

Old 8th Oct 2021, 10:18
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US Nuclear sub has hit an unknown object in the South China sea

11 sailors are reported injured but it is still operational and heading for Guam.

According to AP, the officials said the object the USS Connecticut collided with was not another submarine. One of the officials quoted by the agency said it could have been a sunken vessel or container, or other uncharted object.

Alex Neill, a Singapore-based defence and security expert, told the BBC the number of injuries caused by the collision suggested the submarine probably "hit something big" and was "going really fast".

Meanwhile, the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, told the BBC he was "deeply concerned" about actions that undermine peace across the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China.

He was speaking after China sent a record number of military jets into Taiwan's air defence zone for the fourth day running.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58838332
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 10:31
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Probably bumped into Godzilla.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 10:49
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Was it French? Asking for a friend...
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 10:54
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
11 sailors are reported injured but it is still operational and heading for Guam.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58838332
This is of concern. I would have imagined that on board tech would detect and avoid such collision. More information required.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:00
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Originally Posted by Right20deg View Post
This is of concern. I would have imagined that on board tech would detect and avoid such collision. More information required.
They would not be using sonar. It is a nuclear boat on patrol - they just navigate using onboard IMU and charts. A collision with an uncharted object is always a risk - look up USS San Fransisco incident.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:09
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Who would put it past the Chinese to string a load of old shipping containers or build artificial reefs, etc across likely sub routes .
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:22
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I'm curious as to why this incident was publicised.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:32
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Originally Posted by Trim Stab View Post
They would not be using sonar. It is a nuclear boat on patrol - they just navigate using onboard IMU and charts. A collision with an uncharted object is always a risk - look up USS San Fransisco incident.
Mentioned in the above link.

USNI News, a site specialised in the US Navy, said the last known incident where a submerged US submarine struck another underwater object was in 2005, when the USS San Francisco hit an underwater mountain at full speed near Guam. One sailor died in the incident.
Why release it? well I suppose it does tell China in no uncertain terms they have nuclear subs sitting off the coast in case things get hot regarding Taiwan, so it serves two purposes, to be open and also to send a subtle message, which judging by the the quote below they got, that would be my guess, Plus you might need to explain an unscheduled arrival at Guam and people being taken to hospital.

In comments reported by Chinese state-run daily Global Times, a spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs said China was "seriously concerned" about the incident, calling on the US to provide further details, including the purpose of the mission.

..

Last edited by NutLoose; 8th Oct 2021 at 14:18.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:54
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This is of concern. I would have imagined that on board tech would detect and avoid such collision. More information required.
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 12:13
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).
That was the point at which I finally lost it with "Vigil"....I twigged straight off that the listening sonar guy was useless, a trained one would have heard any powered ship coming from miles away (and be able to tell exactly what type it was). Everyone in that control room should have instantly known he was hopeless and he'd have been replaced straight off.

I suspect as said above the reporting of this early (before the sub appears somewhere unexpected for repairs) is to send a message.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 13:17
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Originally Posted by andytug View Post
That was the point at which I finally lost it with "Vigil"....I twigged straight off that the listening sonar guy was useless, a trained one would have heard any powered ship coming from miles away (and be able to tell exactly what type it was). Everyone in that control room should have instantly known he was hopeless and he'd have been replaced straight off.

I suspect as said above the reporting of this early (before the sub appears somewhere unexpected for repairs) is to send a message.
Agreed - Vigil was a steaming pile of hoop.

Unfortunately the BBC thinks that the public won't notice.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 14:05
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).
Adding even more meat…

Passive sonar is the norm for U.S. subs during all operations (including surface ops). Active sonar is reserved for training and ice ops. However, passive sonar has its limitations; e.g., degrades with speed or poor environmental (acoustic) conditions.

The fact that there were injuries indicates the sub was operating with significant speed.

While subs can measure depth of water under the keel using a fathometer (a routine exception to passive ops), such measurement suffers from the same limitation as the older aircraft GPWS systems; i.e., it can only look down, not ahead. I suspect the SCS is well surveyed with very few uncharted bottom features.

Regarding the comment about surfacing under bulk carriers, large vessels can be extremely difficult to detect using passive sonar due to an effect called a bow null.

The San Francisco collision was due to navigating by incomplete charting data. Back in 1977, the USS Ray collided with the sea bottom due to gross navigational error while operating in the Med. Anyone remember Omega?
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 15:06
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
Just to put a little more meat on what TS already posted...submarines are normally passive on patrol. An inert uncharted object is therefore undectable, so no concerns from that perspective.

If it was emitting any sort of noise, or was a charted feature, everything changes. Unlike on the tele prog "Vigil" (unmitigated 100% unwatchable, unforgivenly insane, infantile f******** horse manure) submarines do not surface under Bulk Carriers (or if they ever do someone is losing their command and getting Court Martialed).
OMG, are you saying that a fictional Drama TV series isn’t actually accurate? Here I was thinking that it was. Shame on me.

Now, to be slightly more polite, I understand your frustration at some (a lot) of the nonsense in Vigil, let alone the required modern love story that is required to obtain production funding in today’s Politically sensitive funding environment. However, it was an ok series, not great, but ok.

I put my “civi” eyes on and “mil BS Filter” (especially the poor construction of the boot neck headwear (sorry calling it a beret when they are so inaccurately shaped, pains me - we all have our triggers)) and managed to enjoy it.

On a more realistic note, here is hoping that all of the crew heal well and get back on guard soon.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 15:46
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The USN are reported in The Times today as stating "it was not another submarine" so some kind of Chinese chicanery sounds highly likley.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 15:48
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Originally Posted by andytug View Post
That was the point at which I finally lost it with "Vigil"....I twigged straight off that the listening sonar guy was useless, a trained one would have heard any powered ship coming from miles away (and be able to tell exactly what type it was). Everyone in that control room should have instantly known he was hopeless and he'd have been replaced straight off.

I suspect as said above the reporting of this early (before the sub appears somewhere unexpected for repairs) is to send a message.
Spoiler Alert.

Did said sonar guy not turn out to be the saboteur?
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 19:21
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Originally Posted by hunterboy View Post
Who would put it past the Chinese to string a load of old shipping containers or build artificial reefs, etc across likely sub routes .
The Chinese don't have to bother. Shipping companies lose enough containers already to create a growing hazard.
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 00:39
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I'd imagine the sub sea charting accuracy useful to a submarine at depth would be far less than desired. In 1973 operated on board a hydrographic vessel and were surveying waters that had not been updated since Captain Cook did the original, what was surprising was how damn accurate his surveys were using what we would consider rudimentary navigational aids, sextant, and chronometer with no time update from the BBC. Even a survey is no guarantee, as its accuracy is dependent on the technology used, we had a bulk carrier tear its bottom open on a rock pinnacle in open ocean shallow surveyed waters, the rock was slap bang in the middle between the lines that had been run, forget the exact spacing of the lines, in the order of a couple of hundred yards and before the days of side scan sonar.
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 09:25
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Well we can only make basic assumptions based on what navy reported.

-Seawolf class are still top notch despite their age and way more advanced in electronics passive detection compared to 668(i). On certain technologies they are still more advanced than the succeeding Virginia class (at least the 1st batch).
- It seems very unlikely for this part of the world not to be very well charted.
- the reported casualties is low compared to the S.F incident, the sub went back on own power.
- Seawolf class have an publicly reported “silent speed” of 20kts and a top speed in the 35-40kts range. If operating close to the bottom (for thermocline stealth or spec ops ) it’s very unlikely it would be operating at more than a few kts, and would have a very precise keel-floor mesure. Running at PD the damage would be mostly on the sail, and striking a civilian traffic would have probably be reported as such.

To clarify on some other comments:
Chinese DO know that U.S subs operate in these waters, since they are still free of navigation based on international laws (even if claimed).
Submarines DO NOT operate in peace time in territorial waters submerged, this is considered an act of war, rightfully so. In these instances, they sail on surface displaying regular navigation light and identification. There are some few exceptions and mutual agreement in place (for some straights and closed water access, and joint exercises).
Chinese are well known to be implementing their own SOSUS system, it is unclear as to how efficient this system is.

I’d bet on either uncharted obstacle, Chinese anti-sub obstacles they would have laid down, or sub-sub collision, even if they claim it’s not the case. If it’s nothing serious, some data will probably be declassified once the navy investigation and report is complete.

anyway, CO,XO and OOD are probably heading to Hawaii for a non-biscuit coffee meeting, and their next command is probably a lighthouse…
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 10:59
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Spoiler Alert.

Did said sonar guy not turn out to be the saboteur?
Exactly. In reality he woudn't have lasted 5 minutes on the job and certainly not after missing a ship that size. Active listening is one of the most important jobs on the sub!
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 16:50
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Originally Posted by pifpafpouf View Post
Submarines DO NOT operate in peace time in territorial waters submerged, this is considered an act of war, rightfully so. In these instances, they sail on surface displaying regular navigation light and identification. There are some few exceptions and mutual agreement in place (for …
You need to read up on what the Swedes find in their waters - and certainly without any agreement.
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