May 10, 2015

Aussie Submarine's Victory Over The US Navy

HMAS Rankin, a Collins class submarine,
defeats powerful US anti-submarine forces at Exercise Silent Fury.

My thanks to MHalblaub for spotting the youtube above. The youtube shows the Australian Collins class submarine HMAS Rankin as it takes part in a naval exercise with the US Navy off the coast of Hawaii. The captain, Steve Hussey (probably former UK RN) plans and executes a strategy to elude detection by the US fleet. This involves initially encouraging his crew to 'make a bit of noise’ so that the US ships will become accustomed to a high level of sonar 'noise’. This is followed by a period of silence in which they hope to evade detection. The plan appears to work.

Silent Fury, the exercise depicted in the clip, was part of the multinational maritime warfare exercise RIMPAC 04, carried out in July 2004. RIMPAC04 involved seven nations, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the USA and the UK, practising their warfare and communication skills. The RIMPACexercises involved training in tactical proficiency, non-combatant evacuation operations, antisubmarine warfare and humanitarian assistance.

Sonar (SOund Navigation And Ranging) is commonly used by ships and submarines to detect underwater obstacles and search for other vessels, and by fishers searching for schools of fish. There are two types of sonar – passive sonar is a listening device, an acoustic receiver that emits no sound but listens for and analyses the sounds of other vessels, while active sonar sends out a pulse of sound into the water and locates objects by timing the returned 'echo’ of the sound pulse. Sonar reception depends on may things, including: water temperature, "clutter" caused by shallow water and enemy sonar pulses, other activity in the area and the weather on the surface. But it is possible to detect noisy vessels and whales more than 100 km away. Submarines also rely on other, more classified, sensors to see and analyse their environment.

Australia is only the second country in the world after Norway to allow women, such as the sonar operators seen in the clip, to serve on submarines. Within the Australian armed forces, women are now allowed to work in support (non-combat) roles in battle zones.



Anonymous said...

Dear Pete,

here is a video of a SINEX during RIMPAC 2014:
The first hit is a Harpoon missile and the second a Naval Strike Missile of Norwegian origin.

Here the origin of the Harpoon is visible:

The first Harpoon by ROKS was fired Na Daeyong (SS-069) in 2002 during SINEX. I could not find a notice of any Collins-class submarine firing a Harpoon during such an exercise only torpedoes.

According to this article the ROKS submarines performed quite well during RIMPAC:

Have a nice weekend!

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Thanks for the two videos. I wonder if the US ship, still floating upside down, was finished off with a charge in the hull?

As Rex Patrick's article indicates - the South Koreans seemed to do all the correct things in their submarine (Type 209) acquistion:
- selecting an off-the-shelf design
- from a high volume builder used to selling
- SK had a follow-on industrial program
- with a shipbuilding industry efficient enough to export

Meanwhile, Australia with all the wrong UK derivative acqusition and shipbuilding traditions, made all of the mistakes.

That Australia has a German backup to the Japan choice puts us perhaps in a modestly favourable position. I hope.

Have a nice Sunday.