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


hide caption

toggle caption

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.



Source link

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.

You may also be interested in…

Noble Supply and Logistics has acquired Tactical and Survival Specialties, a special operations equipment provider …

The Department of the Interior is giving vendors until April 9 to submit offers for …





Source link

“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.

Too Hot To Handle? Why The U.S. Navy Wants An Air-Cooled Laser Weapon

Robot Tanks Are Awesome. But Are They Too Expensive To Risk In Combat?



Source link

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.



Source link

Ballistic missile submarine Arighat in final stages of trials, to be commissioned early 2021


Representational image | India’s kilo class submarine INS Sindhuraj during the Malabar 2020 exercise in the Bay of Bengal | Photo by special arrangement
Representational image | India’s kilo class submarine INS Sindhuraj during the Malabar 2020 exercise in the Bay of Bengal | Photo by special arrangement


Text Size:

New Delhi: Arighat, the second of the indigenous Arihant class nuclear-powered ballistic missile carrying submarine (SSBN), is in the final stages of sea trials and will be commissioned early next year, ThePrint has learnt.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said the submarine has performed well during the sea trials so far, and added that the commissioning of the vessel was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It should be done (commissioned) early next year,” a source said.

The Arighat was quietly launched in November 2017 by the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

With Arighat in, India will be operating two SSBNs that are equipped with the 750 KM range K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missile, meant for punitive retaliatory strikes in case of a nuclear attack.

Both INS Arihant, which is on operational deployment, and the Arighat have the capacity to carry four missiles each.


Also read: India test fires K-4, a 3,500 km nuclear-capable missile meant for Arihant submarine


India’s submarine plan

While the original plan was to have four Arihant class submarines, it was changed by the UPA government, sources in the know said.

Now, the two Arihant class submarines will have a displacement of 6,000 tonnes while two other SSBNs will be of a larger size (7,000 tonnes displacement).

A key differentiating factor will be that the two larger vessels under construction — S4 and S4* at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam — will have eight missile tubes instead of four.

India currently also operates a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) INS Chakra II, which is under lease from Russia.

It was in March last year that India and Russia signed a US$3 billion deal for the lease of a third SSN — Chakra III — that is likely to be in Indian waters by 2025 at the earliest.

Russian submarines are being leased to train crews for India’s own fleet of SSBNs.

In 2015, the Narendra Modi government gave the green light to build six indigenous SSNs. About two years later, in 2017, then Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had confirmed that work on the SSNs had started.


Also read: PM Modi has spoken. With INS Arihant, India is no longer a reluctant nuclear power


India’s nuclear triad 

It was in November 2018 that India completed its nuclear triad when PM Modi announced to the world the completion of the first deterrence patrol by Arihant.

With that, India joined an elite group of countries that have the capability to launch a nuclear weapon from land, air and underwater. The only other countries capable of this are the US, Russia, China and France.

INS Arihant was commissioned in 2016 by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, but a formal announcement came only two years later.


Also read: What is the nuclear triad that INS Arihant has helped India complete?


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism