Sunday, April 3, 2011

HMS Vengeance nuclear sub returns home after power loss

A nuclear-powered submarine is returning to port after a mechanical problem caused loss of power while it was on a training exercise.

HMS Vengeance is returning to Faslane under its own power on the sea surface despite a reduction in propulsion.

The incident happened on Thursday night while the vessel, which is one of four nuclear-powered Vanguard class submarines, was in the North Atlantic.

An MoD spokesman said the incident was "not nuclear related".

He said: "Vengeance has suffered a mechanical defect resulting in a reduction in propulsion.

"She is returning to Faslane under her own power."

John Large, a consultant on nuclear safety, said the most likely cause of the failure would be discarded fishing nets or heavy mooring cables.

He said the submarines were designed to disengage their engines and "dump" power in the event of a propeller unit becoming jammed.

The boat carries up to 48 nuclear warheads on up to 16 Trident missiles, which weigh 60 tonnes and have a range of 4,000 nautical miles.

The submarine also carries conventional Spearfish torpedoes.

One of the four submarines, which together comprise Britain's nuclear deterrence, is always on patrol as an "insurance policy" known as Continuous At Sea Deterrence. ...

via BBC News - HMS Vengeance nuclear sub returns home after power loss.

Isn't a sub with 48 nuclear warheads insane?  If it is just a deterrence, I recommend fake warheads. These save money and make the ocean safer. Fake subs would be great too.
"Warning to All Nations: The Great British Navy has added a large number of new highly dangerous smooth black nuclear submarines each with 62 or more very deadly warheads of the completely nuclear type.  The HMS Vengeance will be joined by these 62 new ships spear headed by a trio of command subs: the HMS Freakyouout, the HMS Messyouup, and the HMS Unsurivabledisaster.


Cheng said...

How do you know the warheads AREN'T fake?

And please! The Royal Navy couldn't afford to add a 'large number' of rowing boats with a Molotov cocktail deterrent to its fleet at the moment.

Ann said...

Nucs vs. diplomacy? Deterrence against who or what? How about "fake" enemies? Oh, that's right. I forgot. Argentina may cause problems, again. Or Afghanistan ... Or whatever Third World country living half-way into the Stone Age ... Oh, Russia is being defensive as of late, building up its weaponry ... Oooo another threat ... And, there's China ... Gee, what about Scotland? Aren't there some Scots who aren't pleased with .... Hey, isn't there some animosity between different neighborhoods/sectors in London? ... Oh, wow! Let's talk sports and the rivalry between ... I guess we can find danger and adversity everywhere, if we look hard enough. And, some people say the Brits don't need nucs! Silly!

Ann said...

Oh, silly me. Little did I realize how important the Trident is in the "diplomatic" world in which we live.

The following is from

On the "examples of the use of Trident":

"The lists of targets maintained by British and NATO nuclear planners are certain to include the submarine bases of the Russian Northern Fleet, near Murmansk.

If one [note!] missile was fired it would leave the atmosphere and then release four [!] nuclear armed Re-entry Vehicles (RVs). Each RV comes down through the atmosphere on a separate trajectory and lands on a separate target. Each of these RVs contain a 100 kiloton nuclear warhead [!]. So one missile would cause 4 nuclear explosions.[!]

One of these warheads would land on the town of Polyarny. This has a population of over 28,000 and it is close to several Russian Navy shipyards which are used to repair nuclear powered submarines. If a Trident warhead exploded in the air above the shipyard the town would be effectively destroyed. Around 90% of the population would probably be killed by a combination of radiation, extreme heat and collapsing buildings [!]. The few survivors would all be seriously injured. Even 5 kms from the explosion, anyone in the open would suffer from 3rd degree burns. There would be extensive casualties from blast damage 10 km away [!]. ..."

Cheng said...

But you can't argue that a nuclear deterrent hasn't prevented a nuclear war. I hope we never have to find out. The development of the bomb might be one of mankinds biggest errors, but it's too late. The milk has been spilt and we have to live with it.
Perhaps you would feel safer if there were fewer bombs, perhaps only owned by one state. North Korea perhaps?

Ann said...

"But you can’t argue that a nuclear deterrent hasn’t prevented a nuclear war."

Since the beginnings of the Cold War in the 1950s when has a nuclear deterrent not been in the background in the relations between rival national powers?

We just don't know what the world would have been or be like today.

But, don't fall into the myth that nothing can be done (how many people predicted the fall of Communism or the recent revolutions in the MidEast?), because if you do nothing changes. Instead, things might get only worse:

"So, things like missile defense and just the rapid expansion of the U.S. military are forcing Russia and China to expand their offensive military capacity, imposing great dangers also on countries like South Korea and Japan. They are right in the middle of it. If China increases its military forces, India is going to respond by incomparable increases. [If] India expands its forces, Pakistan will respond, [and] you then start getting a ripple effect. The more proliferators you get, the greater the dangers." - from someone who knows something about foreign policy: "Noam Chomsky interviewed by Sun Woo Lee" Monthly JoongAng, January 24, 2006 [This is not dated, but a current observation.]

As for North Korea:

"N. Korea suggests discarding one of its nuclear arms programs" Washington Post 11/23/10

Meaning there are doors that can be opened to in international relations, but, "Obama administration officials have reacted coolly to the [N. Korean] proposal,..."

As we all know, at least should know, "evil" doesn't exist just "over there" somewhere, it also exists here in our midst - and this is the place, because of its accessibility, we can understand it better.

Cheng said...

"We just don’t know what the world would have been or be like today."

Exactly! Which is why you can't argue against the deterrent. We just don't know.
But history has a long list of instances of the stronger guys picking on the weaker. Evil is present in everyone, to a lesser or greater extent.
Eventually, the bully boys will start taking what they want. Should we just allow it? It can only stop when either, there's nothing left to take, or they risk sustaining more damage than the goodies are worth.