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Argentine Navy Loses Contact With Submarine Carrying 44


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#1 Colin

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 2100 PM

Argentina’s navy was hunting on Friday for one of its submarines which has been reported missing off the country’s south coast with a crew of 44 on board.
 
The navy said it had not had contact with the submarine, the San Juan, for 48 hours.
 

"We have not been able to find, or have visual or radar communication with the submarine," navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference.

The TR-1700 class diesel electric submarine had been returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia near the southernmost tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, around 400 kilometers (240 miles) south of Buenos Aires.
 
The San Juan’s last contact with the navy command was on Wednesday morning, Balbi said.
 
Argentina said it launched an air and sea search on Thursday, involving a destroyer and two corvettes.
 
An initial search in an area around the sub’s last known position, some 430 kilometers off the southeastern Valdez peninsula, provided no clues.
 
Balbi said the search was hampered "because it was carried out at night and in bad meteorological conditions prevailing in the area of operations."
 
The navy denied a press report that there may have been a fire onboard.
 
Balbi appealed for caution. "I don’t want to dramatise the issue. We’re lacking communication and don’t know what happened," he said.
 
"There may be a battery issue, a problem of power supply," the spokesman said, adding that navy protocol was that the submarine would surface if any power problems were detected.
 
The San Juan sailed 10 days ago from Mar del Plata to Ushuaia. It spent three days there before heading off on the return voyage, Balbi said.
 
Among those on board is Argentina’s first female submarine officer, weapons officer Eliana Krawczyk, 35.
 
"Let us pray that nothing has happened to any crewmember. At sea they are all brothers, and a submarine carries more risk than a ship," her father Eduardo told Todo Noticias TV.
 
The San Juan is one of three submarines in the Argentine fleet.
 
Sixty-five meters (213 feet) long and seven meters wide, it was built by Germany’s Thyssen Nordseewerke and launched in 1983.
 
It underwent a re-fit between 2007 and 2014 to extend its usefulness by some 30 years.

 



#2 R011

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 2140 PM

Just about everyone with any useful asset available has offered help, including Chile and the UK. The USN and Swedish Navy have offered to send submarine rescue vessels to the region.

Edited by R011, 17 November 2017 - 2141 PM.


#3 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 0326 AM

Report here they had been planning on converting it into a nuclear submarine. Go figure.

http://en.mercopress...ne-ara-san-juan

 

1985? Kind of long in the tooth for a diesel electric. Supposedly they still have one on the slipway they never found the funds to finish.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 18 November 2017 - 0330 AM.


#4 RETAC21

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 0341 AM

Looks bad, the Argentine armed forces have been suffering lack of funding for 20 years, but San Juan was modernised some time ago. These 2 subs were to be joined by 2 locally produced ones that never came to be, albeit their hulls are still in the shipyard, they can be seen in the background in the photos below.

 

http://www.defensa.c...-1700-ara-santa

 

The type 42 Santisima Trinidad (withdrawn from use for lack of spares) sank a few years back:

 

el-destructor-ara-santisima-trinidad-que



#5 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 0354 AM

Just heard about this myself.  I hope they managed to find the sub and everyone is okay... :(

 

After touring the HMS Alliance in Gosport a few years ago, I really can't think of anything more unnerving than being stuck in a sub knowing you can't go anywhere when something goes wrong.  I have the highest respect for anyone who crews one of those boats, doesn't matter where they are from.



#6 Marek Tucan

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 0410 AM

Yeah. Walk through L'Argonaute in Paris is one thing, as she is heavily touristized (large doors cut in the sides, easy to pass through). However the sub in Chatham is a different story, far more claustrophobic.



#7 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 0543 AM

There is a very fine book by Haynes on HMS Alliance and the A class boats. Very interesting. She is effectively a WW2 submarine, even though the A's didnt directly participate, she is  related to the old T boats.



#8 shep854

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 0904 AM

I spoke with a gent a while back who talked about fighting actual fires aboard a submerged nuke...even the US boats have potentially catastrophic engineering casualties while on patrol.



#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 0252 AM

They apparently had a very bad fire on HMS Warspite (an SSN) back in the 1970s. Fortunately it was tied up alongside at Liverpool at the time, so the local fire brigade were able to assist.

 

There was a very remarkable accident on what I think was an S class boat in the 1980s. They were tooling along doing about 30 knots beneath the med, and the chief engineer says to the captain pointed out an unusual feature in the engine room. There is a glass panel where you can look down and see the nuclear reactor to check for problems. As it turns out, you couldn't see the reactor because the compartment it was housed in was fully of lovely blue Mediterranean sea water. It turned out a fitting had broken and that water had slowly filled the compartment. It was reckoned that if they had chopped speed without  recognizing there was a problem, they would very likely have fallen below crush depth without being able to do much about it. So they slowly worked to the surface, slowed down and surfaced, and pumped the reactor compartment dry. They then jury rigged a fix and got underway again. Supposedly the Admiralty nearly put the captain on a charge for operating the reactor without substantial safety tests, but he figured even if he was reducing  the life of the reactor the security of the boat and his men were more important. They eventually saw sense and he got off without charge.

 

Heard on the BBC world service this morning, they MAY have had satellite transmissions from the boat, but its not clear what. They are apparently trying to get a US company to track where they are.  It might be the boat is not immobilized at all, but just suffering communication problems, but standing orders demand that they surface in such a situation. Perhaps the presence of sea ice means they cannot.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 19 November 2017 - 0258 AM.


#10 RETAC21

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 0344 AM

Bonefish had a battery fire in 1988, as you can see from the amount of smoke, this are bad and if the crew is not quick/able to control them, the boat is lost.

 

0858206.jpg

 

There's a lot of noise about San Juan, specially in social media, but given that the ARA is looking for it, it's a safe bet this goes beyond comms breakdowns IMO.



#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 0751 AM

Yes, it sound like it could just be an emergency beacon, which means nothing other than telling you where the boat is.

 

I wonder how long before the conspiracy theories start.



#12 Ken Estes

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 1240 PM

A subsunk incident is always terribly sad.



#13 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 0318 AM

Well maybe they will get lucky, miracles do sometimes happen. Not often in submarines admittedly.

 

I heard the USN and the RN is taking part in the search. We are sending HMS Clyde, and sending a parachute submarine asstance group. The USN is also taking along some submarine rescue equipment



#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 0334 AM

The satellite call doesnt seem to have originated from the Submarine.

https://uk.news.yaho...-124734167.html



#15 Josh

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 1036 AM

Possible detection of the sub - thermal bloom and infrasound detection.

http://www.dailymail...cated-Navy.html

Side note - the article claims the USN has detected a large metal object thermally at 230 feet/70 meters depth. That would be impressive if true (I'll look and see any other news org confirms this story). I mean, unless there was a fire on board and the hull is still steaming from it, that seems like a pretty impressive detection. I'd thought IR detection was strictly limited to snorts for D/E type subs; they don't dump warm cooling water into the local environment like a nuke (some heat is transferred through the hull).

#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 1039 AM

Too late to do anything now I would guess. Poor bastards.



#17 Josh

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 1136 AM

Actually supposedly they have oxygen for around a week on board, depending on the conditions. That won't help if the hull is breached or everyone died of smoke inhalation, but there's a very real chance people could be alive if the hull didn't hit crunch dept, and 230' would be well above that if that figure were accurate. Weren't Kurk crew members alive for a week or so before succumbing?

#18 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 1204 PM

Oxygen runs out on Wednesday. IE, today. Its been missing since Friday, but as it says above, they were out of contact with it for 48 hours before they pronounced it missing.

 

Suddenly im very glad we got rid of the last of our Diesel electrics.



#19 BansheeOne

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 1327 PM

Actually diesel boats don't seem to kill their crews more frequently than nukes, particularly given their respective total numbers in service. By my count, there have been at least 22 submarines lost at sea since the advent of the latter in 1954, half of which diesel-electric and nuclear each; though not with all hands in all cases, I suspect that casualities of nuke crews also exceed those of diesel crews due to the former tending to be bigger. Thresher, Scorpion and Kursk alone accounted for 346 dead.


Edited by BansheeOne, 22 November 2017 - 1330 PM.


#20 RETAC21

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 1430 PM

Well, each loss is particular and unique, off the top of my head, the disappearance of 2 French Daphnes are the only instance in which the same design flaw struck (loss of the snorkel head, but that's disputed)






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