Monday, February 16, 2009

UK and French SSBNs collide in Atlantic

The MOD are staying quiet about it but the French are admitting one of their ballistic-missile submarines, Le Triomphant, has struck another submarine, said to be the lead class of the Royal Navy's Vanguard class of ballistic-missile submarines! Le Triomphant's sonar dome was destroyed in the incident, damage to Vanguard is unknown though both submarines were able to make it back to dock and there was no radiation release.

The incident occurred in "heavy seas" (perhaps the background noise masked the other boat from the passive sensors?) off the French Atlantic coast on the night of February 3rd and 4th in heavy seas. The French have said there were no injuries. The systems on both boats aimed at avoiding such an incident seem to have failed on both boats or maybe rather the stealth of both boats was so good they couldn't be detected by passive sonar.

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