Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life Aboard A U.S. Nuclear Submarine

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The Navy’s Virginia-class fast-attack submarine is its newest and most technologically advanced. Its quiet nuclear-powered propulsion system and sensitive sonar are designed for tracking other subs and warships. The Navy has 12 of the subs and plans to acquire at least 30.

L.A. Times: Aboard a U.S. nuclear sub, a cat-and-mouse game with phantom foes

America's most advanced nuclear submarine was slicing through the water off Hawaii last month, 400 feet under the surface, when a sonar operator suddenly detected an ominous noise on his headphones.

It was a faint thump … thump … thump — the distinctive sound of a spinning, seven-bladed propeller on a Chinese attack submarine called a Shang by the Pentagon and its allies.

A neon green stripe on his sonar screen indicated that the Shang was only a few thousand yards off the U.S. sub's bow.

"Sonar contact!" he yelled to 15 officers and crew in the dimly lighted control room. "All stations, analyze!"

Within seconds, the 377-foot-long Mississippi banked right and gunned its nuclear-powered propulsion system for one of the Navy's most difficult maneuvers: sneaking up behind another submarine and shadowing it without being detected.

WNU Editor: The Pacific is becoming the key region for these subs to now operate .... The Navy now has 43 of its 71 submarines in the Pacific.

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