November 29, 2018

Nammo's 30mm ASW, Anti-UUV, Supercavitating Bullets

Nammo has modernized a major innovation, 30mm supercavitating bullets (aka: shells, rounds, ammunition). These armor-piercing bullets could be fired from a helicopter, UAV-helicopter, small ship, patrol boat, land vehicle, water surface unmanned vehicle or LDUUV. They could be used against, mini or larger submarines, mines, incoming torpedos, boats-small ships, against other UUVs and tragically against divers. 

These bullets, when fired by a LDUUV, would be much cheaper and multipe-use than if the LDUUV fired mini-torpedoes or itself exploded as a torpedo.

Above is the 30mm Nammo supercavitating bullet penetrating the water.
2018 Nammo BulletIN page 8)  

11 seconds into this DSG Technology Youtube ("Norwegian Company" DSG presumably related to Norway's Nammo (?)) displays its 5.56mm and larger supercavitating bullets. Graphics about submarine use. Mention of use against submarine at end (2 minutes 55 seconds).

From the 2018 Nammo BulletIN article [PDF 3.2MB] 

"While traditional ammunition is either stopped or deflected when it hits water, Nammo’s 30 mm Swimmer (APFSDS-T MK 258 Mod 1) swims straight through water, thanks to a groundbreaking design on the supercavitating projectile developed in cooperation with the US Navy [with USN developing similar 30mm bullets since 1994]. Jan Hasslid discusses the implications of this new technology" [page 8]

"...Nammo, through its Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), [became] one of the main providers of 30 mm ammunition for the US Armed Forces. [page 8]

Following the recent signature of agreements with the US Army and the US Navy, both services are now adopting Nammo’s 30 mm APFSDS-T MK 258 Mod 1, or “Swimmer”, for use from a multitude of platforms,..." [page 8].

"...The Swimmer round falls into the category of sub-caliber kinetic energy penetrators. These can most easily be described as arrows made out of very heavy materials that use the force of the impact rather than explosives to punch through armor. Traveling at speeds of more than 1 km per second, the energy generated by the impact melts the armor of the vehicle into a fluid and the arrow “swims” through the armored side of the vehicle. In the case of the Swimmer, the force of the arrow is sufficient to defeat anything except main battle tanks [so could penetrate a single or even double hull submarine] ..." [page 9]

"...What makes the Swimmer unique, however, is the combination of powerful armor penetration and its ability to swim straight through water. This effect has until now been considered impossible to achieve by ammunition fired from air through water. As demonstrated by a number of popular science TV programs, traditional ammunition is either stopped or deflected when it hits water. In a worst case scenario, a projectile could hit the surface, bounce off [richochet] and hit something else.

Thanks to the design effort for the kinetic energy penetrator originally developed for the Norwegian Army, and perfected by Nammo in combination with US Navy supercavitation [the bullet's shape of nose which may shake allowing bullet to fly through a gas bubble] concepts, the Swimmer avoids the ricochet in water problem through the use of a supercavitation nose design. This means that the projectile creates a bubble of steam around itself big enough to pass through, substantially reducing the friction that stops traditional ammunition. This enables the Swimmer to be used in defense of either ships or coastal areas against submerged and surface mines, small underwater vehicles, torpedoes and even small fast attack crafts that might be concealed by waves. This is valuable not only for naval vessels, but also for land vehicles defending harbors, bridges or other key locations."

[article ends on page 9].


November 28, 2018

Japanese LDUUV Developments 2 & Korean Drone Swarms.

After searching the international Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) website I located a civilian research (eg. JAMSTEC) (and perhaps dual-use naval) URASHIMA LDUUV (here) being developed by MHI (Photo above courtesy Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd). 

Significantly URASHIMA is 10.7m long (meeting the 10m length requirement that the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) set for large diameter unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV) development). Other specifications for URASHIMA are: 7.5 tonnes weight (surfaced), 3,500m max operating depth, 300km range, and 3 to 4 knots speed. Its likely diameter and known 10.7m length would make it too large for Japanese 533mm torpedo tubes. Hence attachment on top of a submarine hull or slide or crane delivery from a ship (as in photo above) may be necessary.

Following Japanese Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) Developments, of November 27, 2018, Anonymous has commented, with further translation and [...] comments from Pete :

UUV technologies developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) consist of:

i)               i) low frequency acoustic sensors for the detection of buried mines on the ocean floor,
ii)             ii) underwater navigation using autonomous positioning by matching ocean floor topography,
iii)           iii) low speed, long endurance movement using lithium-ion batteries (LIBs),
iv)            iv) underwater modeling and simulation by using sonars, and
v)             v) an integrated launching tube.

Further development of UUV propulsion is required [eg. using LIBs and/or hydrogen-oxygen or other fuel cells] as well as development of communication methods and networks.

Tactical UUVs [perhaps torpedo tube launched] can be (or need to be) operated at relatively short distances and for short time periods remotely by an the operator [perhaps seated in a submarine].

In contrast [usually larger] strategic UUVs can autonomously operate for a longer period.

The Japanese MoD has successfully demonstrated fuel cells and underwater optical Wi-Fi (for communication at ranges up to 120m) for LDUUVs. [Sonobuoys, seabed line arrays and submarine-to-LDUUV wires may also be useful for LDUUV communications.]

See (it is in Japanese and there are useful pictures of:
-  MHI’s probably torpedo sized UUV on page 12.
-  the UUV network including parent or networked ships, subs, helicopters, patrol aircraft and sonobuoys on page 13.
-  another photo and diagrams and graphs, pages 13 to 16.

There were also comments from /Kjell pointing to a Swedish language document on Russian UUV developments. To which I responded “The Russians are also making great progress in the commercial (oil) and naval use of AUVs, specially in the Arctic Ocean and perhaps in the Sea of Japan.”

Drone Swarms

KQN also commented “There is no doubt that AI will have a key role in autonomous UUV and UUV swarms.” to which I responded “Indeed Artificial Intelligence (AI) (old similar concept "Autonomous") will indeed have roles in UUVs and UUV swarms. China in particular may mass produce small UUVs to form swarms, especially for deployment in highly strategic areas like the South China and East China Seas and Sea of Japan.”

The 2018 South Korean Winter Olympics illustrated what 2 operaters, who are computer controlling drone swarms, can do. Those "Olympic" drones are of course small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. But from 40 seconds into the Youtube (through to 3 minutes) similar hardware and software capabilities also apply to UUVs finding and maybe attacking submarines and friendly UUVs.

November 27, 2018

Japanese Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) Developments

Comments by Anonymous, of November 24 and 25, 2018, shed a useful spotlight on differing national requirements for Large Diameter (or Displacement) Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (LDUUVs). 

For example the size, speed and sensors of a UUV are dictated by a country’s undersea patrol areas. A UUV should also be of a size to respond to unforeseen future duties.

[Pete Comments: Japan may deploy its future LDUUVs in the East China Sea, Sea of Japan or the Russian SSBN bastion near the Kamchatka Peninsula. Meanwhile the US may also use much larger Extra Large UUVs (XLUUVs), with much longer 6,000+nautical mile (nm) range, to tow sonar arrays on mid Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean tracks.]

Timeline of Japanese UUV Development

In 2006, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) built a prototype UUV calling it “Marine Challenger 150” to demonstrate sensor and navigation technology. MHI adopted Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) as energy sources and studied other Fuel cell options. 

See photos of the yellow colored “Marine Challenger 150” on pages 12 and 15 of this Japanese language MHI document Marine Challenger 150 looks like a lightweight torpedo and may weigh “150”kg(?).

Marine Challenger 150 looks much like the lightweight torpedo sized REMUS 600 AUV. See Submarine Matters' 2015 article about USS South Dakota (SSN-790) launching and recovering a REMUS 600 AUV - reportedly the first time for a USN sub.

 Also note the larger REMUS 6000 won a Japanese civilian agency order in November 2018.

In 2014, the Japanese Ministry of Finance (MoF) started three stage development of UUV (total budget was US$27 million: 

i)  first research trial (manufacture of LDUUV), 2014-2016), 
ii) second research trial (development of fuel cell, 2015-2017), and 
iii) third research trial (2018-2020). See Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD

Also in 2014, the US Navy requested Japanese joint research on the development of UUVs.

In 2017, Council of External Adviser [to the MoD?] recommended amendments to the UUV plan, and the Japanese MoD accepted the recommendations.

Current Japanese Activity

In December 2018, the Japanese Cabinet is going
to approve the development of a 10m long large LDUUV  with funding to be US$37million for the years 2019-2024. [Pete Comment: $37 million is actually quite low. Costs may be minimized by previous Japanese and US development of UUVs over the last 12+ years.] 

For the LDUUV development, the MoD will conduct demonstration experiments to detect sound waves in a large water tank at a naval facility in Iwakuni, in Yamaguchi Prefecture. This may be the same tank that the MoD’s Acquistion Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) is going to build - dimensions 35m long, 30m wide, 11m deep. The test facility will begin operations in fiscal 2021 at the earliest, although the timing for the restart of LDUUV development is not yet known.

A very informative Japanese language Sputnik article of November 20, 2018 (once translated) explains that one of the uses of this LDUUV will be to monitor Japanese territorial waters over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. Ownership of the Senkakus and surrounding territorial waters is also disputed by China and Taiwan. Under the seabed in the area may be usable oil and gas reserves.

A chronic shortage of [the Japanese] Self-Defense Forces personnel has also contributed to the MoD's view that developing LDUUVs is necessary.

In a further comment of November 29, 2018 Anonymous has pointed to an:

"Abstract of a study on long-term operation of UUV technologies by a Japanese MoD 27th Expert Panel on Policy Assessment held August 16, 2018. [Pete further translating]. The Abstract concerns:

The trial production of 
replaceable modules for UUVs will be conducted to develop new capabilities such as warning, surveillance and marine observation. Trial production and testing/evaluation of UUVs will be conducted in the 2019-2022 and in 2022-2024 periods, respectively. Total cost is US$53 million.

By cooperation with other domestic institutions such as JAMSTEC, studies and tests will be conducted on:

-  effective utilization of marine observation technologies
-  maximum utilization of test facilities, 
-  reduction of reseach risk, and 
-  on cost and development periods [budgeting and scheduling].

In the case of a UUVs embarking on a 5 days basic mission, an extension of the mission to 15 days will be attempted by adding a battery module or modules. 

So develoment of basic technologies for battery and other modularization will be established.

Acoustic, salt concentration (salinity) and temperature sensors for UUVs will be developed. The impact of addional modules on UUV movement will be studied. This is a preliminary development study to overcome technical challenges rather than developing operational UUVs.


A LDUUV 10 meters long may limit range to around 1,000nm. The LDUUV might be too small and lack power to pull a towed sonar array. Instead the Japanese LDUUV may have sonars on its hull of the LDUUV to detect Chinese, Taiwanese etc ships, patrol boats and submarines.

Communicating and full processing of the sonar data collected may depend on moving closer to the surface, maybe using a line and communications buoy, working to satellite. The satellite then downlinks messages to Japanese naval earth stations, naval vessels and aircraft. Possibly seabed line arrays may help the LDUUV communicate. Side scan sonars may help find Chinese seabed arrays and bottom-rising mines.

Full data the LDUUV collects may be on its computer hard-disk. Meaning it needs to return to its Japanese naval base (Japanese and US at Okinawa, Sasebo and Yokosuka?) to securely upload all the sensor records and have then process the data using Japanese (and others) mainframe computers.

November 26, 2018

Russia's Northern Fleet Floating Dock Sinks

Putin's Northern Fleet PD-50 floating dock some time BEFORE it sank. Could it be Peter the Great battlecruiser (?) inside it.

It was early morning October 30, 2018 in Roslyakovo, within Russia's massive Northern Fleet complex a crane accident damaged Russia carrier Kuznetzov. At the same time Russia's largest, 80,000 tonne floating dock, known as PD-50,  sank.

It has been left to Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov (not the publicity averse Minister of Defense it seems!) to explain the floating dock will itself be refloated. But poor Denis doesn’t know when.

The floating dock is important because it helps maintain Russia’s nuclear propelled battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy (aka Peter the Great) currently involved in nuclear missile testing. The dock is also involved in the maintenance of all Russia’s Northern Fleet nuclear submaines

Might other large floating dock owners (maybe France, Greece, Germany, Britain or Putin's best friend Trump) loan Putin another one?!


SECRET AUSTEO Report Declassified: Australia's Iraq Preparation Problems 2002

As a contrast to the usual submarine matters, here is an Australian Report partly about Australia’s “SEALs” officially known as the “Clearance Diving Team”.

Also mentioned is that Australians were quietly training in the Middle East in 2002 for the invasion of Iraq - a year before the actual invasion. 

A problem identified by the Report is that the poor treatment of the divers "SEALs" "is blamed on an international private contractor that "prioritised its clients by profit potential"."

The news article (below) is by Australia’s government owned ABC News dated November 26, 2018 and its link:   
PHOTO: A member of the Australian Navy's Clearance Diving Team 3 [aka: “SEALs”] in Iraq in 2003. (Photo courtesy the Australian War Memorial via ABC News.)

"Australian Defence Force's Iraq war secrets revealed in newly declassified report

By ABC defence reporter Andrew Greene November 26, 2018

A secret Army study has detailed the widespread logistical problems faced by Australian forces in Iraq 15 years ago.

“Key points:

·       An elite Navy diving team had three sets of clothes and no laundry for three months
·       A combat support squadron was deployed "without … combat body armour and camouflage clothing"
·       Professor says the secrecy of the planning around Australia's involvement in Iraq led to issues”
 The report, obtained by the ABC and marked "for Australian eyes only", revealed how frontline troops were often without crucial supplies for battle and military commanders struggled to get the personnel required.
According to the 156-page document there were also deep concerns about a vaccination program for soldiers that was described as "poorly thought out".
The research, to be declassified today, was compiled by Albert Palazzo of the Australian Army's Land Warfare Studies Centre.
Dr Palazzo's report, completed in 2008, concludes the Navy's elite Clearance Diving Team 3 endured the worst logistical support, and its members were treated like "second-class citizens".
University of New South Wales Professor Clinton Fernandes, who first secured the secret study, said it detailed how ADF personnel were quietly dispatched to US CENTCOM headquarters in Florida in 2002 to begin planning the Iraq war, a year before [Australian Prime Minister] John Howard announced Australia's involvement.
"What the document shows is that the Howard Government had decided early in 2002 that it was going to join the United States in any operation in Iraq whatever it might be, but it couldn't admit this to the public or even to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) at large," he said.
"So only a few people within a very tight planning compartment were told about it.
"They had to plan in seclusion from the rest of the defence force — as a result there were lots of logistical problems."
No camouflage gear for combat support squadron.
Getting Australian personnel and equipment to the Middle East proved difficult, according to the report, because of the RAAF's "complete lack of strategic transport capability"
[Pete Comment: Australia did not acquire C-17A Strategic transport aircraft until 2006. The Hercules available in 2002 lacked sufficient range/speed/carrying capacity.] 

and the government's "inability to provide the ADF with a clear indication of its intentions and a timetable for the commitment of forces".
"By failing to make a timely announcement on the nation's participation, the Howard government succeeded in boxing itself into a corner, while at the same time abdicating one of its few strategic decision opportunities to the United States," Dr Palazzo wrote in his report.
The report describes how "commanders also encountered problems in getting the staff they wanted", often because the people with the "optimum skills" did not have valid [often diplomatic] passports and visas .
[Pete Comment: similar visa/exemption problems which required diplomatic passports for Australian Defence Force personnel recurred as a controversial issue as late as 2014].
Dr Palazzo describes force preparation as "inconsistent" and notes that units were deployed with "different levels of equipment".
"The Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron deployed without key personnel items including individual protection equipment, combat body armour and camouflage clothing," the report reads.
No laundry or fresh clothes for 'second-class' divers
According to Dr Palazzo, "the unit with the most poorly thought-out logistic plan, and the recipient of the worst support during the deployment" was the Royal Australian Navy's elite Clearance Diving Team 3.
His report said it did not take the divers long to get the "impression that they were second-class citizens as far as logistics were concerned".
Much of the poor treatment of the divers is blamed on an international private contractor that "prioritised its clients by profit potential". 

[Pete comment: For that important information see page 100 of the Report - unfortunately Totally Redacted I'm afraid :-) As revealing this information would breach Section 33(a)(iii) of “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 - 

SECT 33 [being]
Documents affecting national security, defence or international relations
document is an exempt document if disclosure of the document under this Act:
(a)  would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to:
      (ii)  the defence of the Commonwealth; or

      (iii)  the international relations of the Commonwealth [of Australia];”]
 "During their three months in Iraq, the divers did not receive a change of cloths (sic)," the report reads.
"They deployed with three sets of camouflage and lived in them for the duration. There were no laundry facilities at any of their locations in Iraq."
The "controversial and poorly thought-out" vaccination program to protect Australian personnel from biological weapon attacks is also heavily scrutinised in the document.
"News of the inoculation program came as a surprise to most of the troops awaiting deployment or already in the Gulf," the report reads.
"For some it caused considerable angst." [Article Text Ends]
See the actual declassified 156 page Report at Document Reader (at the bottom of the ABC News article) on which the ABC News article is based. Report is [Freedom of Information] FOI 027/18/19 declassified from SECRET AUSTEO report by Albert Palazzo “DEPLOY, SUSTAIN, RETURN AUSTRALIAN LOGISTICS AND THE WAR IN IRAQ” [Australian Army] Land Warfare Studies Centre, January 2008, at

November 23, 2018

The US Orca Extra Large UUV "XLUUV" Competition - Acoustic Testing

The competition to develop the US Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle – XLUUV Orca has at least two initial phases: including the first phase, the design phase. In 2017, Lockheed Martin was awarded $43.2 million and Boeing $42.3 million and delivery of a technical data package.

Lockheed, on October 30, 2017, described the second phase as “a competitive production phase for up to nine vehicles” Lockheed further advised the XLUUV Orca is designed

 “to meet increasing demands for undersea operational awareness and payload delivery [eg. special hydrophones]. Key attributes include extended vehicle range, autonomy, and persistence [endurance]. Orca XLUUV will transit to an area of operation; loiter with the ability to periodically establish communications, deploy payloads, and transit home.”

Likely shape of Boeing entrant. To develop the Echo Voyager (above) or similar Orca XLUUV entrant Boeing is working with Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII]. The Echo Voyager is 51 feet (15.55m) long. Boeing claims a 6,500 nautical mile range (on one fuel module). See SubMatt's 2016 article on the Echo Voyager's many intended capabilities.

Rumour is Lockheed Martin is developing a greatly enlarged "Marlin" entrant. With no Lockheed "Marlin" XLUUV being made public(?) it could be a secret project or perhaps simply hasn't been developed to a sufficient stage for public viewing (?). There are several old and existing versions of medium sized Marlin UUVs or AUVs. Above is a Marlin Mk3 - perhaps 4.9m long, 1,590kg, range 100+km and 24-60 hours endurance. Far less than the much larger Boeing Echo Voyager.  (Photo and some details here in 2013 and can be found searching AUVAC)

The Lockheed and Boeing XLUUVs will likely be tested at the US Navy's Lake Pend Oreille Bayview, Idaho, Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD). Testing might be part of the winning selection process. It is highly likely production models would be tested for very quiet, stealthy operation and for the efficiency of the XLUUV's sensors, including its sonars. 


Naval Group CEO in Canberra, Australia, for “Crisis Talks”

Lisa Martin has written an excellent article for the The Guardian, November 22, 2018, reporting:

"French submarine boss summoned to Canberra for crisis talks: ‘Legitimate policy differences’ and ‘personality clashes’ said to be stalling negotiations with Naval Group, tasked with building Australia’s $50bn new fleet..."

“...Naval Group chief executive Hervé Guillou travelled from Paris to [Canberra, Australia] for two days of discussions which kicked off on [November 22. 2018].

The federal government is yet to finalise a strategic partnering agreement with Naval Group, which is designing Australia’s fleet of 12 new submarines. There are hopes to have the agreement sorted by Christmas...

“...If no headway is made soon, the talks could be escalated to ministerial level or up to prime minister Scott Morrison and French president Emmanuel Macron.

“It’s understood the sticking points on negotiations include warranty issues,the level of Australian content, as well as a potential sale or merger between Naval Group and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

“...Meanwhile, the federal government’s shipbuilder ASC, which is in charge of keeping six Collins subs operating until the new fleet is ready, warns Naval Group is poaching key staff...”

November 22, 2018

US Navy Submarine & ASW Landlocked Idaho, Stealth, Acoustic Research Detachment

The US Navy maintains its world's most expensive, most powerful, submarine and anti-submarine forces by maintaining large networks of bases and test facilities. Most are, of course, by the sea, but some are landlocked like the huge (by most country's standards) Lake Pend Oreille. Bayview, Idaho, Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD). 

Part of the reason for the sighting of ARD is for security. It is far from the submarine sensors and human contact of opposing forces.

Above is a seperate Youtube on what ARD does. 

From 2 minutes 35 seconds in the Youtube gets interesting when ARD's Director describes that they utilize the models to test any aspect of a submarine, the:

-  hull shape
-  materials
-  control surfaces
-  propulsor
-  even structure and systems installed inside a submarine
-  any aspect that has an impact on the submarine’s acoustic signature.


Below is the official version (from the Internet November 22, 2018) of what ARD does. at

The 1/3 scale LSV-2 Cutthroat Virginia submarines are part of the most publically known role. 

"The [US Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD)] Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) is located on Lake Pend Oreille, which is Idaho’s largest, deepest (1,150 feet), and quietest body of water providing an ideal environment for acoustic testing without the attendant problems and costs of open ocean operations. 

[The Carderock Division consists of approximately 2,000 scientists, engineers and support personnel.]

The ARD operates and supports unique Large Scale Submarine Models, Test Ranges, and acoustic test facilities utilized in conducting Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) of submarine acoustic stealth technology.  These state-of-the-art facilities support a wide variety of research and technology development programs ranging from submarine propulsor development to the calibration of full-scale acoustic transducers. Detachment personnel supporting the experiments form a highly capable and versatile workforce providing ARD customers a timely and quality outcome. They work closely with project scientists, engineers and technicians throughout the Carderock Division and other Navy and private organizations, to plan and conduct operations and experiments on the lake.

The results obtained during past experiments have been extremely valuable to the Navy, especially in the area of submarine propulsor design, sonar dome development, submarine construction cost avoidance, and the development of several critical submarine design features. Future plans include critical support of current and future Navy submarine design in the area of structural acoustics, hydroacoustics, propulsor development, target strength reduction, and related experiments using the unique capabilities of the ARD.  

[This is a 0.294-scale LSV-2 Cutthroat model of a Virginia (SSN-774) that is an unmanned, autonomous test vehicle for evaluating stealth technology. Weight: 205 tonnes. Length: 111 feet (34m) Beam: 10 feet (3m) Propulsion: Electric drive 3,000 shp (2.2MW?)]

The Large Scale Vehicle-2 (LSV-2), a large model of the VIRGINIA Class submarine, is being used extensively in the area of propulsor research. Large scale buoyant submarine models support testing in the area of submarine structural acoustic and hydroacoustic technology.  Target strength testing is conducted using the Intermediate Scale Measurement System (ISMS), which provides a unique acoustic test capability unsurpassed by any other available facility.

The site's technical programs typically support analytical efforts of the NSWCCD and contribute directly to the development of advanced submarine designs. These programs support the Fleet, Navy systems commands, and other defense agencies. The ARD also support private industry and research efforts of academia and our allies. 

Acoustic Research Detachment
33964 N. Main Avenue
Bayview, ID 83803-9750"


November 21, 2018

Ocean Infinity, That Found ARA San Juan, Working with US Navy

On November 19, 2018 I commented that it is possible that US Navy information of an accuracy that couldn't be made public was provided to the crew on Seabed Constructor and/or Ocean Infinity to find ARA San Juan.

Contact between the US Navy and Ocean Infinity is quite public. 


Ocean Infinity has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the US Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC), based at the Space Center in Stennis, MS.  During the next five years the collaboration will focus on combining and expanding technologies relating to a broad range of deep-water platforms and sensors focused on undersea data gathering and analysis.

Ocean Infinity – the worlds’ most technologically advanced subsea operator

Since its launch in July 2017 Ocean Infinity has developed the next generation of undersea data gathering techniques.  Over the course of the last 12 months the systems and processes used by Ocean Infinity have changed materially from the initial operational concepts and ideas.  Today, no one else in the world leverages underwater technology in the same way.  Ocean Infinity’s innovative, dynamic and cost-effective approach to undersea data is of relevance to everyone who has a need or desire to better understand the ocean and seabed environment whether they be from the military, government or commercial sectors.

CEO Oliver Plunkett of Ocean Infinity commented, “We are very focused on being at the forefront of technology and this agreement to work and share knowledge with the US Navy’s experts in underwater data is an important part of maintaining our position as a world leader.  The team at Ocean Infinity have high expectations about what can be achieved and consider it a great privilege to have been given the opportunity. ”

Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Rear Adm. John Okon, [photo above] commented “This agreement is a natural fit between two entities striving to be at the cutting edge. Our organizations are developing integrated operational procedures which fully utilize the capabilities of autonomous platforms such as operating multiple surface and subsurface vehicles at one time to rapidly collect and disseminate critical bathymetric observations to the fleet.”"

Pete Comment

The ARA San Juan search and discovery shows that navies can perform a humanitarian service in many ways.

November 20, 2018

Recovering the submarine ARA San Juan?

Photo (from several 100m above) showing how many fragments ARA San Juan 800m has already exploded into and how likely it will crumble further. (Photo courtesy Ocean Infinity's search vessel Seabed Constructor).  

This is a tragedy for the relatives of ARA San Juan's crew.

-  San Juan is more than 935m down and now may weigh 2,300+ tonnes. (see right sidebar here)

-  Extremely strong, heavy, steel was crushed and exploded into fragements, or dust, by hydrogen
   explosion and by inrushing water pressure. "Pieces that were 11m, 13m and 30m
   long [and much smaller] were spotted.."

-  Recovery technology may just just break the submarine into smaller falling pieces rather than
   recover it. That is what happened in the US$Billion+ Glomar Explorer salvage expedition when
   raising a Russian submarine was attempted.

-  Even the US eventually found the Glomar Explorer expedition technically too difficult and too

-  Cutting of the extremely strong and heavy portions of the hull may not be possible. Its not like
   cutting the thin, light, aluminium/aluminum or thin composites of crashed airliners/planes.

-  DNA testing may prove which crew fragments have been recovered. This may be a blessing for
   some relatives, but may also raise new problems for many. Fragments of every member of
   the crew are unlikely to be recovered, meaning some families will feel forever excluded and

See the most full discussion (so far) of recovering San Juan in the Maritime Herald
November 19, 2018.

3 Photos of ARA San Juan showing where parts used to be.

Bow section of ARA San Juan, noting the 6 torpedo tubes. The section is 24m long and 7m wide with explosion and water pressure deforming it. (Photo from Ocean Infinity via Argentine Navy).

Part of the now exploded propeller of ARA San Juan (Photo from Ocean Infinity via Argentine Navy).

Part of ARA San Juan's fin/sail (once called "conning tower) lying on its side with usually horizontal plane now upright of ARA San Juan (Photo from Ocean Infinity via Argentine Navy).