April 2, 2014

UK Nuclear Sub Joins MH370 Search

UK nuclear propelled attack submarine (SSN) HMS Tireless probably at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Scotland.

HMS Tireless inside. No VLS - its Tomahawks are launched from its horizontal torpedo tubes.

Australia's news.com.au, April 2, 2014, reports http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/nuclear-submarine-joins-search-for-missing-malaysia-airlines-flight-mh370/story-fnizu68q-1226871783527

A British nuclear submarine [HMS Tireless] is set to join the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Malaysia’s Defence and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein revealed the news via Twitter, saying he had just received word from the UK’s secretary of state for Defence, Philip Hammond, that HMS Tireless will join in the search effort.
The Ministry of Defence said the Trafalgar class submarine had arrived in the southern Indian Ocean and would soon be joined by the survey vessel HMS Echo.
Both ships carry advanced underwater search capabilities which will be applied in the search for the ultrasonic “pings” being emitted by the missing aircraft’s black box flight recorders.
It may prove to be one of the last missions for HMS Tireless, which had originally been scheduled to be scrapped in 2013.
The nuclear-powered submarine was launched in 1984. It carries a crew of 130 and 18 officers."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Tireless_(S88) was launched in 1984 and has a mixed safety record. Tireless will probably attempt to detect  “pings” emitted by MH370's Black Box using its passive sonars and other electronic receivers. It is less likely that Tireless' active sonars and other sensors would be able to "shape" (detect) MH370 debris floating or on the ocean floor. Tireless is unlikely to be equipped to recover  MH370 debries from the ocean floor.

HMS Echo - a multi-role hydrographic survey ship of 3,500 tons is likely to be more useful in search and recovery.

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