March 9, 2015

Mystery of the Major Explosion near a US Carrier - Solved

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Another view.
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I asked commenters whether this remarkable, undoctored photo was a near miss on a US Nimitz class carrier by one of China's DF-21D anti-ship "carrier killer" ballistic missiles?

The mystery is solved. China is blameless as no missile was fired and none missed.


Vigilis advised: "Normally the first ship in a class, in this case [USS Nimitz (CVN-68)], would be shock tested prior to deployment. However, Nimitz was never tested and the testing fell to [USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)].


I mainly used the last few paragraphs of the link to reflect possible reasons why USS Theodore Roosevelt was shock tested and not USS Nimitz. Reasons include:

-  shock testing takes time and money -  particularly time. If the US Navy has tested the Nimitz itself, it would take months more to enter service at a time when the carrier fleet was too small, mainly conventionally propelled and too old to perform all its roles.

-  testing the Nimitz carried more technical risk because it was first of class. On the other hand testing the Roosevelt, which had a longer technical track record built on years of experience with the Nimitz, involved lower technical risk and more clarity in the test results. So shock testing is placed on the second of class or even later.


-  another major reason to shock test the Roosevelt first and not the Nimitz first was that unlike the  Nimitz the Roosevelt and all succeeding Nimitz class carriers were built using modular construction. So the Roosevelt was probably more typical of the whole Nimitz class than the Nimitz itself.

“Daffy D” indicates hands on experience in commenting:

“...The ship Teddy Roosevelt is undergoing Shock Trials. I think it was 1987. How do I know? Because I used to be part of a team that did such trials. My job: set up the mitigations and get the environmental clearances. Cheers”


Anonymous (of March 7, 2015 at 11:08 PM) provided a RT ("Russia Today") article which gave useful coverage of the carrier Roosevelt's embarrassing exercise "sinking" by a French SSN.

The RT article article carried an excellent Youtube http://youtu.be/ogmVzCqkTAI of the effects of a shock-trial on those aboard the destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill. The effects indicated why a ship chosen for a shock-trial takes months to recover.

Thanks All

Regards

Pete

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/01/top-tester-tells-navy-to-test-carrier-destroyer-defenses-with-real-missiles-explosions/

Anonymous said...

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/01/top-tester-tells-navy-to-test-carrier-destroyer-defenses-with-real-missiles-explosions/

Controlled detonation

Vigilis said...

Hi Pete

As you published this photo 7 MAR 15 and I am replying 6 MAR 15, I hope the depiction is predictive of a guidance miss by a DF-21.

Sailors of both USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS Nimitz (CVN-68) are probably not as amused. "Normally the first ship in a class, in this case Nimitz, would be shock tested prior to deployment. However, Nimitz was never tested and the testing fell to Theodore Roosevelt"

In appreciation of an earlier dialogue, USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600)was stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register 12/01/1982, and changed to "recycled" status as of 03/24/1995.

Cheers,

Vigilis

Daffy D said...

Nice one. The ship Teddy Roosevelt is undergoing Shock Trials. I think it was 1987. How do I know? Because I used to be part of a team that did such trials. My job: set up the mitigations and get the environmental clearances. Cheers

Anonymous said...

That's a pic of the USS Roosevelt (CVN-71), during shock testing.

Peter Coates said...

Thankyou Anonymous commenters, Vigilis, and Daffy D, for your rapidly provided and informative comments.

I've now put your info together in the body of the article.

No foul play occurred in the course of this naval mystery.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

http://rt.com/usa/238257-french-submarine-us-carrier/

Hi Pete, thanks for your website, great coverage of the sub debate. :-)

The 'shock testing' picture isn't far off the reality....

As you might be aware, a US carrier was recently 'sunk' during a war game with a 30yo French submarine, something that US carriers are making a bad habit of doing in recent years.....

Memo to ADF and DMO: I'd be keeping those Canberra-class LHDs well away from operating Joint Strike Fighters, that is if you prefer not to create fat, juicy floating bricks for enemy submarines to blow sky high....

:-)

Peter Coates said...

Thanks Anonymous (of March 7, 2015 at 11:08 PM)

It is not surprising that Putin's organ, RT (which rarely indicates that it is "Russia Today") gave ample coverage to the USS...Roosevelt's embarrassing "sinking". http://rt.com/usa/238257-french-submarine-us-carrier/

For all its sins the RT article carries an excellent Youtube http://youtu.be/ogmVzCqkTAI of the effects of a shock-trial on those aboard the USS Winston S. Churchill.The effects show why a ship chosen for a shock-trial takes months to recover.

Yes the Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) wouldn't last long in medium or high level conflicts. Supersonic BrahMos missiles that Indonesia may buy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrahMos#Export from India may make large holes in the LHDs.

So I think the LHDs are great for soft power disaster relief or maybe low intensity conflict but need a great amount of protection from an escort screen. Such a screen may even include Aussie SSKs or US SSNs.

Regards

Pete