Brit Subs Sharing Parts
Disturbing report from the Sunday Mirror in London today. It seems that the Royal Navy has run low on spare parts for their nuclear subs, and the subsequent need to resort to cannibalization has turned about half their boats into "parts shops" for the other half.
"Cash-strapped Royal Navy bosses cannot afford to replace parts, so submarine captains at HM Naval Base Clyde are having to "borrow" vital equipment from other vessels before going to sea. "This means that only two of Faslane's four nuclear subs are operational at one time - with the others stuck in dry dock.
"It affects our fleet of four Vanguard submarines - HMS Victorious, Vigilant, Vengeance and Vanguard - the "cornerstone" of Britain's nuclear deterrent. The subs, which carry Trident II D5 missiles, also share sonar, air purification and escape equipment.
"Ministry of Defence bosses last night said cannibalisation of subs - called Storob - was a cost-effective way of running the fleet after cutbacks meant pounds 310million was slashed off the Navy's maintenance budget."
The problem with cannibalization is that sensitive equipment, like perscopes, run the risk of breaking each time they're removed or re-installed. That's why the U.S. fleet tries to avoid the practice as much as possible; sometimes you have to do it, but each request has to get pretty high up the chain of command to get approved. Hopefully the Brits will be able to spring some money loose for their subs.
(Intel Source: The Sub Report)