Indonesian Navy Submarine Still Missing; Officials Say Time Is Running Out : NPR


An Indonesian navy ship searches for the submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that went missing this week in the waters off Bali.

Eric Ireng/AP


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Eric Ireng/AP


An Indonesian navy ship searches for the submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that went missing this week in the waters off Bali.

Eric Ireng/AP

Rescuers scouring the Bali Sea for a stricken Indonesian submarine with 53 sailors aboard are hoping the crew could still be alive, but as the hours since the vessel’s disappearance tick by, the chances of survival grow increasingly slim.

The Indonesian navy chief of staff, Adm. Yudo Margono, told reporters Thursday that a search of the vicinity where the diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 is believed to have gone down, about 60 miles north of the resort island of Bali, had located an object with “high magnetic force” floating at a depth of 50 to 100 meters (about 165 to 330 feet). “We hope it is the KRI Nanggala,” he said.

But the navy had said previously that it believes the submarine may have sunk in a particularly deep spot in the otherwise relatively shallow sea — about 600-700 meters (2,000-2,300 feet) down — much deeper than the boat’s maximum operating depth and likely below its crush depth.

Even in a best case scenario, the navy chief of staff emphasized that with oxygen expected to run out early Saturday a quick rescue would be critical. “Hopefully we can rescue them before the oxygen has run out,” he said.

The KRI Nanggala was conducting a weapons training exercise early Wednesday when the navy said the sub was given permission to dive and then never made radio contact again.

Earlier, rescuers reported finding an oil slick on the surface and the smell of diesel fuel, but there was no way of knowing whether it came from the sub. While an oil slick might be a sign that the vessel was destroyed, the navy said it could simply mean that the submarine’s fuel tank had been damaged. It could even be a deliberate signal from the crew.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Thursday that he had ordered an “optimal” search for the submarine and that the rescue of its crew was the “main priority.” He expressed sympathy with family members over their ordeal.

The German-built submarine has been in service since the early 1980s. Despite its age, a refit of the vessel by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering was completed in 2012. A Daewoo official told The Associated Press that the company had upgraded the boat’s internal structures and systems.

Speaking to reporters, the navy chief of staff said the submarine had “received a letter of feasibility from the navy” and that “it was ready for battle.”

Navy spokesman Julius Widjojono told Indonesia’s KompasTV earlier that the boat could sustain a depth of 250-500 meters (about 820-1,640 feet). “Anything more than that can be pretty fatal, dangerous,” he said.

A Daewoo Shipbuilding official, Ahn Guk-hyeon, told the AP that the submarine would collapse if it goes deeper than about 200 meters (about 655 feet).

If the vessel is intact, it could be too deep for a rescue, said Frank Owen, secretary of the Submarine Institute of Australia.

“Most rescue systems are really only rated to about 600 meters (1,969 feet),” he told the AP. “They can go deeper than that because they will have a safety margin built into the design, but the pumps and other systems that are associated with that may not have the capacity to operate. So they can survive at that depth, but not necessarily operate.”

He said the Indonesian sub was not fitted with a special hatch seal that would allow the crew to escape into a different vessel during an underwater rescue.

“So the only system they have is to get to the surface and abandon the submarine on the surface; or if they’re in water that is less than 180 metres [590 feet] in depth they could put a special suit on so they can breathe and not burst their lungs and they can get to the surface,” Owen told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It’s still risky but it’s doable,” Owen said.

The Indonesian military said Thursday that at least 20 navy ships, two submarines and five aircraft have been searching the area and that a hydro-oceanographic survey ship equipped with underwater detection equipment was also on its way to the area of the oil slick.

Australia, South Korea, the United States, Germany, France, Russia, India and Turkey have all offered to assist in the search for the submarine and a possible rescue, the Indonesian navy said.

Vessels from Singapore and Malaysia are also reportedly joining in the search but won’t be able to reach the area until the weekend.



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HII Awarded $194M Navy Submarine Overhaul Support Extension


March 25, 2021
Contract Awards, News

HII Awarded $194M Navy Submarine Overhaul Support Extension

USS Columbus submarine

Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) will continue engineered overhaul work on USS Columbus, a nuclear powered fast attack submarine in the U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles class. under the potential $194.5 million contract modification.

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division in Virginia will receive nearly $191 million at the time of award for continued efforts toward completing the fiscal 2018 project for SSN 762, the Department of Defense said Wednesday.

The company initially secured a $288.6 million in August 2015 to help the branch plan modernization of the undersea vessel and received a $136 million modification in November 2019 for repair, upgrade and maintenance services.

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“Siri, Find Me A Russian Submarine,” U.S. Navy Asks


Virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s
AMZN
Alexa have become popular technological helpers. Ask a virtual assistant to find a restaurant or tell you today’s weather, a soothing AI voice obligingly responds.

So why not a virtual assistant to help the U.S. Navy find Russian and Chinese submarines?

The Navy wants a virtual assistant — like the ones found on consumer smartphones — to help overloaded sonar operators manage multiple anti-submarine warfare (ASW) systems. In particular, active sonar on Navy cruisers and destroyers come with a variety of settings. “This includes employment decisions such as changing the operational mode between pulsed active sonar (PAS) and continuous active sonar (CAS) as well as changing waveform and various other system settings,” according to the Navy research solicitation. “Operators must conduct sonar analysis of resulting sonar returns and interpret them based on the sonar settings and the environment.”

This is where a Siri-like assistant would come in handy. The AI would use sensor data and monitoring of environmental conditions to recommend optimum sonar employment, and to assess potential moves of the enemy sub. The system would provide sonar operators with “situational awareness regarding key parameters such as primary propagation path(s), bearing-dependent complications (such as sea mounts that might obscure threats), significant topology features into which a threat might retreat to minimize detection, best tactical waveforms, and situational best practices to enable operators to maximize the potential of the tactical sonar suite for the specific conditions present at that time and location.”

The Navy is hoping to see at least a 25 percent gain in active sonar efficiency by employing a virtual assistant.

Phase I of the project calls for developing an AI architecture and algorithms. Phase II calls for testing the virtual assistant on the hull-mounted sonar fitted to Navy cruisers and destroyers, as well as the Variable Depth Sonar on Littoral Combat Ships.

Submarines have been long been the nemesis of the U.S. Navy, whose carrier battlegroups can dominate the surface – but are vulnerable to subs armed with sophisticated missiles and torpedoes. In addition to Russian and Chinese nuclear-powered attack submarines, even smaller powers like Iran and North Korea may eventually field a new generation of ultra-quiet diesel-powered attack subs. This will place an even greater strain on the ASW capabilities of a U.S. Navy surface fleet already undermanned and overworked.

The deeper question is whether military technology is becoming so complex that a virtual assistant has become a necessity. Pentagon research agency DARPA, for example, is working on AI battle command assistants to help human commanders.

As always, the benefits of advanced technology must be weighed against the challenges that humans face in mastering it. A Siri-like AI assistant can help.

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The U.S. Navy Wants Two Large Drone Submarine Prototypes


The U.S. Navy is moving quickly to build two new undersea large drone prototypes to launch from a submarine, surveil the undersea, locate enemy mines, subs, and surface ships, and coordinate targeting for torpedo attacks. 

Naval Sea Systems Command just released a request to industry to submit proposals to build two prototype Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (LDUUV) to begin construction next year. The LDUUV program is intended to complement a sweeping broader scale Navy unmanned system effort intended to deliver as many as twenty-one new large drone boats within just the next five years. The LDUUVs could be launched from submarine missile tubes to engage in long-dwell undersea reconnaissance missions and use various kinds of data gathering and transmission technologies to inform submarine commanders of relevant combat information. 

A December 2020 Congressional Research Service report, called “Navy Large Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles,” cites the LDUUV program as one of a number of high-profile undersea vehicle prototype programs likely to transform the undersea domain.

“UVs are one of several new capabilities—along with directed-energy weapons, hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, and cyber capabilities—that the Navy says it is pursuing to meet emerging military challenges, particularly from China. 2 UVs can be equipped with sensors, weapons, or other payloads, and can be operated remotely, semi-autonomously, or (with technological advancements) autonomously,” the report states. 

As computer algorithms continue to become more advanced, undersea platforms such as the LDUUV can increase levels of autonomy, thereby expanding mission scope and adding new abilities to respond to emerging circumstances and make adjustments while performing operations. 

For example, AI-enabled algorithms could help an undersea drone identify specific classes of mines, enemy ships or submarines by bouncing new incoming sensor images off of a vast database to perform analyses, make discernments and offer optimal courses of action for submarine commanders to consider. Payloads can be sonar detection systems or other kinds of undersea reconnaissance and weapons applications. 

“The LDUUV will achieve full integration with Modernized Dry Deck Shelter and Payload Handling System-equipped submarines. Initial vehicles will be designed to support Intelligence Preparation of the Operating Environment missions,” a NAVSEA report states. 

The Navy is acquiring the new drone, called Snakehead, on an expedited, massively fast-tracked basis to meet pressing, even urgent, needs for long-dwell undersea surveillance. A Snakehead could, for instance, conduct much longer reconnaissance missions in high-threat areas near enemy coastline without needing to return a manned crew. 

“Snakehead is a long-endurance, multi-mission UUV, deployed from submarine large open interfaces, with the capability to deploy reconfigurable payloads. It is the largest UUV intended for hosting and deployment from submarines, and has been designated a Maritime Accelerated Acquisition,” the NAVSEA report states. 

The NAVSEA solicitation reports the service intends to award a deal to a single contractor to build two LDUUV prototypes next year. 

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Image: Reuters.



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Fast-attack Submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) Virtual Tour



Sailors assigned to the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) conduct a virtual tour of the boat as part of Santa Fe Virtual Navy Week. The Navy Week program has served as the Navy’s principal outreach effort into areas of the nation without a significant Navy presence, with over 250 Navy Weeks held in 80 different U.S. cities. The program is designed to share with Americans how their Navy is deployed around the world and around the clock, and why a strong Navy is vital to protecting the American way of life. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Alfred Coffield)

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What's Inside The Largest Nuclear Submarines in The U.S. Navy



Video: What’s Inside The Largest Nuclear Submarines in The U.S. Navy

The Ohio Class submarine is the fourth biggest in the world. The US Navy operates 18 Ohio class nuclear-powered submarines, which are the biggest submarines ever built for the US. Each sub has a submerged displacement of 18,750t.

The first submarine of the class, USS Ohio was built by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton. It was commissioned into service in November 1981. All the other submarines were named after the US States, except USS Henry M. Jackson, which was named after a US senator.

Each Ohio Class submarine has a length of 170m, a 13m beam and a 10.8m draught. The gliding speed on the surface is 12kt and underwater is 20kt. The submarine class includes one S8G pressurised water reactor, two geared turbines, one auxiliary 242kW diesel motor and one shaft with a seven-bladed screw.

The submarine is capable of carrying 24 Trident missiles. The armament also includes four 53cm Mark 48 torpedo tubes.

Video by Austin Rooney, Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Richardson, Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lee
#usmilitarynews #americanpatriot #usmilitary

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Life at Sea: Navy Submarine



Life at sea on a submarine is unlike anything else on earth. It’s a hidden moving missile silo and for Sailors on a mission, it’s home:

Submariners are highly knowledgeable, skilled engineers and technicians who thrive when challenged. With an air of relentless positivity, they keep our shores safe as the unseen defenders of the deep.

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Boarding a US NAVY NUCLEAR SUBMARINE in the Arctic – Smarter Every Day 240



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