Welcome to the latest installment of Soundings, a column
that reports on a broad spectrum of news items from the mainstream
media as they relate to Ocean Engineering technologies. The purpose
of this column is to inform the ocean engineering community of our
industrys visibility in the media and how the general public
perceives our efforts.
Razorback Completes Dual-nation Duty
If you mention Little Rock, Arkansas to anyone, chances
are they will think of former US President Bill Clinton. Little
Rock made newspaper headlines again recently but for reasons related
to naval history, not Presidential politics, as the submarine U.S.S.
Razorback arrived at its final duty station, being a key attraction
of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.
Initially deployed during World War II, the Razorback was decommissioned
by the US Navy in 1971 and sold to Turkey where she entered into
service as the TCG Murat Reis. After serving more than 30 years
in the Turkish Navy, she was retired and offered for sale for a
price of 1 million dollars. However, the Turkish government slashed
the asking price with the understanding that a Turkish-US relations
center would be established as part of the deal with the Arkansas
Suit Succeeds in Hollywood
Litigation and lawsuits are nothing unusual in the maritime industry.
Nor are they unusual in Hollywood. However it is unusual when both
worlds collide. Such was the case when a former Soviet Union submarine
captain sued a Hollywood studio for making a movie deemed disparaging
about the sinking of his vessel.
Various mainstream media outlets covered the conclusion of the case
of Captain Igor Britanov vs. Warner Brothers Studio. Captain Britanov
was the captain of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-219 when, while
on patrol 680 miles off the coast of Bermuda, an explosion shook
the submarine, causing a fire to break out near the ships
reactor and also causing a missile hatch seal to leak, allowing
seawater to react with residue of the missiles liquid fuel.
Parts of the boat began to fill with poisonous gas and ultimately
4 crewmen were lost. The submarine sank before being towed from
Warner Brothers Studio produced a film, Hostile Waters,
based on the event and Captain Britanov later sued the studio for
not seeking permission to use his character or his story. He also
charged that they did not accurately portray events, which resulted
in making him appear incompetent.
After three years of hearings, the US court found in favor of Captain
Britanov. Russian media reported a settlement on the order of several
tens of thousands of dollars (USD).
The Former Soviet Union claimed the damage to the K-219 was caused
by a collision with the American submarine USS Augusta (SSN 710).
Officially, the US Government continues to deny that this was the
Navy Commissions Destroyer in Honor of Momsen
- First Destroyer to Use Remote Minehunting System
Vice Admiral Charles Swede Momsen made headlines across
the world in May 1939 when he directed the successful rescue and
recovery operation for the USS Squalus which had sank in 243 feet
of water off the coast of New Hampshire. Using the McCann Diving
Bell, which Momsen and Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann developed, 33
crewmen who survived the sinking of the Squalus were successfully
brought to the surface. Momsen then led the 113 day salvage operation,
and brought the Squalus back to dry dock at the Portsmouth Navy
Yard. The Squalus was later refurbished and recommissioned the USS
Sailfish and she performed with distinction in the Pacific.
Recently, the US Navy commissioned its newest destroyer the
USS Momsen (DDG 92). The Momsen is the first of five DDGs
that has state of the art electronics and weapons systems, including
the Remote Mine Hunting (RMS) system. The RMS, developed by Lockheed
Martin, is an air-breathing diesel powered semi-submersible that
is equipped with its own Variable Depth Sonar (VDS). Using line
of site and over the horizon data and control links, the RMS provides
destroyers with an organic mine reconnaissance capability.
|Remote Minehunting Vehicle is lowered to
the water by a unique dual-arm davit.
|Remote Minehunting Vehicle towing Variable