Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Littoral Sub Ops

Joe Buff has a new article posted at called "Littoral Sub Ops"; it's fairly interesting, and I agree with his thoughts that China is unlikely to invade Taiwan anytime soon. If you get a chance, read the whole thing.

Posting about this article demonstrates one of the potential challenges of sub-blogging. To be honest, a lot of the "open source" stuff you read about submarines is flat out wrong, and normally that's a good thing; it's "secret" for a reason. (In the article I linked above, there are quite a few things "wrong", but submariners can figure those out on their own, and the errors don't really take away from what a non-submariner will get from the story.) In other cases, though, I read something that I'm pretty sure is unclassified, so I have to run around the 'net trying to find enough examples of it out "in the open" that I'm comfortable with writing about it. (One example where I wasn't really able to do that came about from one of my blogging "catchphrases". Some of you may have noticed that when I post an update based on something from the comments, I title it "bell-ringer". I was going to use another, more technical term for the act of calling a submarine back to periscope depth, but a Google search found only one correct use for the term, in the footnotes of someones Naval Postgraduate School essay. Therefore, I don't use that term.)

Anyway, in the article, Joe talks about "active mine-avoidance sonars mounted under the chin of the Los Angeles class and more modern SSNs." I thought to myself, "That's interesting; I wonder if the sail-mounted HF sonar is classified, since it's what I normally used for mine-hunting exercises on Los Angeles class and more modern SSNs." So, a quick look around Google led me to this official Navy page; based on this, and especially the picture of USS Asheville's HF array with the cover off, I figured I could talk about sail-mounted HF sonar. It works pretty good.

Going deep...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one who has served in submarines should ever have to be disabused over transparency in government. How can there have been so many secrets on boats that many in the crew never knew where they were going, where they had been, or what had really been done? Limited secrecy from the public is necessary precisely because we have an open society, which envelopes both our self-avowed enemies and still undisclosed enemies.

7/28/2005 9:10 PM

Anonymous Byron Audler said...

I agree. I'm a Harpoon player (I suspect that there are more than a few of you who know the simulation), and 'Pooners constantly work like beavers to get accurate information about platform characteristics. After all, it was Harpoon that inspired "The Hunt For Red October". But even with this quest for perfection, we all have an unwritten law: we only use what is public source knowledge for the game, and even in the databases we can build to more accurately simulate certain things like signature, RCS, weapons effects, etc. A friend of mine is one of you, and said that he has to be very careful when talking about things sub-related, because I know enough to put pieces together. But not to worry...I don't ask the questions, even though my curiousity is killing me...some things aren't meant to be known by all, especially when it's those things that keep the wolves from my door, and my family.

7/29/2005 2:44 AM

Blogger half said...

I stopped playing Harpoon when I wasn't allowed to fire all the torpedos at once.... (this was the classic version) it could bring even a fast system to a near standstill. :)

7/29/2005 7:49 AM

Anonymous Byron Audler said...

Half, I hear your pain...I killed a PB33 4 times trying to free enough conventional memory, via autoexe.bat files and command.sys files:-)

7/29/2005 11:37 AM


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