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Submarine Search Team Study New 'Anomaly' Report

PostPosted: November 23rd, 2017, 4:01 am
by toucana
ARA San Juan

Seach teams hunting for a missing Argentine navy submarine are investigating new reports of a ‘hydroacoustic anomaly’ recorded just three hours after its last radio contact.

The German-built submarine ARA San Juan with a crew of 44 onboard went missing on Wednesday 15 November just over a week ago, during a routine sailing from Ushuaia at the southern trip of Terra del Fuego to a naval base at Mar del Plata.

According to Argentinian navy sources the submarine had surfaced and reported a problem with its main battery system as it sailed through the San Jorge Gulf about 450 miles from the Argentinian coast. After completing some repairs, the vessel was ordered to continue its journey and submerged once again.

US Navy hydrophone systems then apparently detected an underwater noise that could have been a explosion about three hours after the last radio contact about 30 miles north of its last reported postion.

A search by an international team of surface vessels and aircraft has been hampered by adverse weather with strong winds and 20 foot waves in the South Atlantic.

The fear is that if the submarine sank to the seabed, it would only have survived if it had done so within the limits of the continental shelf (up to 600 metres deep). If it sank outside that area into deeper water then it would have fallen beyond its crush depth and been destroyed.

The submarine would also be approaching the limits of its oxygen reserves after spending seven days fully submerged.

Re: Submarine Search Team Study New 'Anomaly' Report

PostPosted: November 23rd, 2017, 2:19 pm
by toucana
According to BBC reports, a Vienna based weapons monitoring organisation has confirmed there was an underwater explosion near the last reported position of the ARA San Juan.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said that two of its hydro-acoustic stations had detected a signal from an "underwater impulsive event". This is consistent with reports from the US navy on Wednesday.

The BBC report says that relatives have been told privately by Argentine naval authorities that all the crew had been killed in the explosion at a depth of 200m.

The TR-1700 class submarines have a diving depth of 300m (980 feet)

A large multi-national search operation remains in progress to locate the missing submarine.

Re: Submarine Search Team Study New 'Anomaly' Report

PostPosted: December 11th, 2017, 7:01 am
by toucana
An american acoustics expert has disclosed that the missing submarine was destroyed in a massive implosion event.

Steve Rule who formerly worked as the lead acoustic analyst for the US ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) says that the hydrophone traces recorded by the CTBTO indicate that the hull of ARA San Juan was destroyed within 44 milliseconds by a force equivalent to the explosion of 12,500 pounds of TNT at a depth of around 1275 feet (388 metres).

The crew of 44 which included Argentina's first female submarine officer Eliana Krawczyk, 35 would all have been killed instantly.

Exactly what caused the disaster remains unclear. The submarine had reported being forced to surface to deal with an electrical problem caused when quantities of water entered the Schnorkel tube while they were cruising at periscope depth under diesel engine power, and recharging the main batteries. The seawater flooding caused a short-circuit and electrical fire in the forward battery. The captain reported they had dealt with the problem by isolating the forward battery, and that they were now ready to proceed using a divided electrical battery system. The submarine vanished three hours later after submerging once more.

The most likely scenario is something akin to what happened to the submarine USS Chopper (SS-342), another diesel/electric fleet boat which had a hairbreadth escape in February 1969 while on patrol near Cuba

USS Chopper suffered an electrical power failure while submerged at only 150 feet (46 metres). Within seconds the boat went into an uncontrolled bow down plunge with the hull almost vertical in the water. It is thought that the bow section actually reached the rated crush depth of the hull 1011 feet (308 metres) before the crew managed to halt the plunge.

USS Chopper and her crew survived, but the boat was so badly damaged by the structural stress of the near implosion that it had to be decommissioned.