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"How a Plucky Swedish Sub Took Out a US Carrier ..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 8:19 p.m. PST

…All on Its Own.

"In 2005, the USS Ronald Reagan met its match in the form of a single, diesel-powered Swedish submarine. During war games, the plucky submarine was able to sneak through the passive sonar defenses of the Ronald Reagan and its entire accompanying group to score a few precious torpedo hits, (virtually) sinking the cruiser and getting away without so much as a scratch.

How? As Real Engineering explains, it's all thanks to a very old-school engine. Instead of using its diesel to power an internal combustion engine (which is quite loud, what with the explosions and all), the Gotland-class sub instead uses highly-optimized Sterling engines, not unlike what you might find as a desk toy, but considerably more high tech. These exceedingly quiet engines are used to charge batteries which in turn can directly run the engines. The result is a sub that's quieter than any other diesel, and even quieter than its nuclear cousins which require a constant churn of coolant that can give away their position…."
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Lion in the Stars17 Apr 2018 5:37 a.m. PST


It's always fun getting to hoist the Jolly Roger and go hunting big game!

(My sub took pictures, though it's apparently policy to never center the crosshairs on the numbers…) I wanted to send a letter with at least one of the time/date-stamped pictures to that carrier.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2018 9:47 a.m. PST



john snelling30 May 2018 5:32 a.m. PST

I'm always amused by stories like these. US Navy in peacetime will always allow subs to go unhindered where ever they want to go.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member30 May 2018 12:26 p.m. PST

Is this done just to give our European allies the feeling that they can do any actual damage to a large fleet like Russia's?

If so, that's just plain wrong! For their own good, I would have made them very aware of their vulnerabilities … and then promptly sold them slightly newer subs. :)


Ghostrunner30 May 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

Keep in mind the only one you will hear about is 'plucky sub gets the carrier'.

Not that it's not an accomplishment, and maybe a cause for concern.

But you don't hear about the other six times in that exercise that the 'plucky sub got quashed by 5 US ships'.

As far as US allies vs the Russians? In ANY sub .vs. surface battle not involving the US, I will always put odds on the sub.

ASW is an art… and I don't think anyone trains to the level of the US these days. But I could be wrong.

wyeayeman Inactive Member30 May 2018 1:23 p.m. PST

Maybe you dont hear about it because…
and 'large fleet like the russians' which large fleet is this then? on paper maybe but not at sea. And all in one place. And working.
Wern't the yANKS SO IMPRESSED THAT THEY PAID FOR THE Gotland TO (oops) to hang around so that they could test their response. And why call it plucky? why not call it professional and efficient?(jeez spelling!)

Ghostrunner30 May 2018 2:42 p.m. PST

I apologize if it sounds like I was dismissing the skills of the sub crew.

I just meant to point out that 'bear vs. rabbit' is only news if the rabbit wins.

Carriers are extremely vulnerable to any competent sub crew, especially if the escort screen is not doing its job.

Lion in the Stars30 May 2018 3:53 p.m. PST

US Navy in peacetime will always allow subs to go unhindered where ever they want to go.

No, they don't.

They will ping the hell out of a sub that is someplace we don't want it.

I've been stuck under what I swear was every P3 in the Pacific Ocean during one exercise, stuck by exercise rules shallow in a narrow channel. airdropped sonar buoys are up in the 'fingernails on blackboard' frequency range and are so loud you can feel them in your teeth.

john snelling03 Jun 2018 3:44 p.m. PST

That was during an exercise! For more information read "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)".

Lion in the Stars03 Jun 2018 6:24 p.m. PST

You should read Blind Man's Bluff. Pinging the hell out of someone is the polite way of saying "come to the surface and talk, or we're going to assume you're attempting to kill us."

john snelling06 Jun 2018 7:16 a.m. PST

In the book, did American subs go into national waters?

You cannot assume "you're attempting to kill us" during peacetime.

I was in the Navy from 1974 to 2003, there was a big difference between the Cold War and the peacetime tracking of subs and what you could do during an exercise. Yes, we tracked many of sub but never made one surface.

Lion in the Stars06 Jun 2018 8:24 a.m. PST

According to Soviet charts, the Sea of Okhotsk is territorial waters.

According to the USN's navigational charts, no, the American subs were always in International Waters. There's something like a <500yd gap that the Americans had to navigate through in order to claim "always in International Waters." According to an old submarine QM I talked to, who was the Assistant Navigator of one of my boomers.

A sub inside your carrier group is grounds for pinging and/or yelling at them on the underwater telephone (if a surface ship has an underwater telephone).

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