Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Boys' Toys and Boys' Games

How could two submarines each 'nearly the length of two football pitches and the height of a three-storey building' (Independent) not manage to co-exist in the planet's second largest ocean? Both are equipped with the most advanced detection equipment that is capable, we are told, of distinguishing other objects down to a small fish. So it should have been able to manage to distinguish such a nuclear-armed submarine.

The Independent also notes that nuclear-armed submarines have favourite 'nesting places' where they can rest silently in the ocean while still within range of their putative targets.

Was this a parking dispute? It's certainly not Acacia Avenue and a couple of tired neighbours. Vanguard and Triomphant each carry 16 intercontinental missiles, armed with between six and eight warheads. Triomphant was at the end of a tour of duty when the collision removed its sonar dome. Both navies practise continuous patrols - at least one nuclear-armed submarine is on patrol 365 days a year. It's beginning to look as if the English submarine found someone in its usual place and tried to hurry things along.

8 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Perhaps they were both on "silent running"? Or is that just in the movies?

hatfield girl said...

As an addict of black and white, clipped-tone war movies, preferably with wild escapes through mountain passes and across canyons on hand-wound cable cars, or corpses washing on lonely beaches and submarines surfacing in lochs and fiords to survey desolation and silence, 'silent running' isn't in my warfare vocabulary, Blue.

I'd have thought they'd make more noise than a small fish. Anyway, if they keep crashing the submarines we give them, they'll have to do without until they have been mended.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

Maybe they both had cloaking devices like in Star Trek but they don't tell us ?

hatfield girl said...

The chap speaking for the Royal Navy certainly had on a uniform straight out of Star Trek, Banned. Whether it included a cloak was difficult to see.

Sue said...

and they say women are bad drivers?

Blue Eyes said...

The official excuse seems to be that both are so quiet...

Did nobody notice the actual impact? Did it not even set off the slightest ripple in the Captain's morning cup of tea?

hatfield girl said...

Imagine turning up at Faslane with envy lines all over your submarine; or wherever French nuclear subs live with no front bumpers, the windscreen, and all the dashboard missing.

Didn't hear a thing, honest.

I liked the English admiral insisting that neither was speeding at the time of the collision. It happened in slow motion evidently. No doubt each convinced the other would give way.

Acai said...

Triomphant was at the end of a tour of duty when the collision removed its sonar dome. Both navies practise continuous patrols - at least one nuclear-armed submarine is on patrol 365 days a year. It's beginning to look as if the English submarine found someone in its usual place and tried to hurry things along.