I made this one hour primetime television special in 1986. At the time, it was a big deal for the American Navy to let me on one of their submarines. I loved the experience and the submariners. This documentary won the Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival. In my opinion what makes this so realistic is the everyday life submariners experienced and how when they trusted me and the crew, they let me record how things were when no one was watching. I was impressed with how professional they were and how, though underwater for months at a time, they treated each other decently and with respect. It takes a certain kind of person to be a submariner and I have deep respect for their professionalism and their patriotism. I know from so many who have commented on this video that to some extent, life on board a submarine has changed. For example there is no smoking cigarettes for sure. But in other ways, the life on board a Boomer or and attack sub isn’t all that different from what is shown here.
As I am an independent filmmaker, I make a portion of my living from selling copies of my films but I have decided, given the number of requests that I have had from ex-Navy men and women, to put the entire film up on YouTube. Please like this if you find watching it of value to you. #submarine #navy #sub #steelboats #attacksub #boomer
The ‘F-22’ of Submarines: Why America Built Only 3 of the Deadliest Submarines Ever
In the late 1980s, the U.S. Navy was faced with a crisis. In 1980, the Soviet Union had received information from the Walker family spy ring that the Navy could track its submarines through excessive propeller noise. As a result, the Soviet Union went looking for advanced Western machinery to make better propellers. In 1981, the Japanese company Toshiba sold propeller milling machinery—now relatively common nine-axis CNC milling machines—to the Soviet Union via the Norwegian Kongsberg corporation.
By the mid 1980s, the Soviet Union’s new machinery began to make itself felt. The new Akula-class submarines had a “ steep drop in broadband acoustic noise profiles ”. One government source told the Los Angeles Times , “the submarines started to get silent only after the Toshiba stuff went in.” On top of running silent, the Akula class could dive to depths of up to two thousand feet—while the U.S. Navy’s frontline submarines, the Los Angeles class, could dive to only 650 feet.
To combat the threat of the Akula class, the U.S. Navy responded with the Seawolf class of nuclear attack submarines. The Seawolf submarines were designed with HY-100 steel alloy hulls two inches thick , the better to withstand the pressures of deep diving. HY-100 steel is roughly 20 percent stronger than the HY-80 used in the Los Angeles class. As a result, the submarines are capable of diving to depths of up to two thousand feet, and crush depth estimates run from 2,400 to 3,000 feet.