As indicated yesterday (November 19, 2017) San Juan's alleged messages may have come from a ship or fishing boat and "may not be related to the fate of San Juan". Now the Argentine Navy has said "there was no “clear evidence” that the calls had come from the submarine."
The Argentine Navy understandably will see its task as establishing proof of San Juan's fate:
- Proof is required to prevent the spread of strange rumours that raise the hopes of the San
Juan relatives and ordinary Argentinians that San Juan is somehow still "alive".
- Proof is required for the morale of the Navy and to indicate to TKMS, the German builder
of the submarine, that the design is sound.
- Proof also needs to be communicated by the Argentine Navy/Government in a way that
protects the political reputation of the Argentine Navy and Government.
An Inquiry will follow any eventual discovery of San Juan. The Inquiry will look at Argentine submarine safety training methods, maintenance of the submarines and why authorities decided to still use such an old submarine as San Juan - which dates back to 1983.
For proof the Argentine Navy most likely needs the help of small manned, or more likely unmanned, deep submerging probes that Submarine Matters pointed to yesterday. These have been flown to Argentina by a US Airforce/US Navy joint effort. These probes are at A and B below:
These probes will be able to photograph San Juan on the sea floor.
Some probes can listen for any signs of life in San Juan. Probes can be lowered that can rescue crew (though crew still being alive is highly unlikely). Eventually probes may be able to cut into San Juan and perhaps raise it. All this depends on how deep on the sea floor San Juan has descended.
A - a remotely operated, deep diving, pressurized rescue module (PRM) (Photo courtesy US Navy via USNI)
and B - it is also likely the US Navy has flown Bluefin-21 or similar autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). AUVs can “see” submarines on the seafloor using side-scan sonar and other sensors. (Image courtesy General Dynamics Marine Systems).