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More than HALF of Royal Navy's attack submarines docked after CRACK found in reactor

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by lca-fan, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. lca-fan

    lca-fan Captain FULL MEMBER

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    More than HALF of Royal Navy's attack submarines docked after CRACK found in reactor

    A CRACKED nuclear reactor has led to more than half of the Royal Navy’s frontline attack submarines being taken out of service.
    Experts warned the fault in the reactor of HMS Trenchant was so serious that the Trafalgar fleet may never sail again. The fracture is being treated as an “irreparable generic fault” that will prevent it from being able to carry out normal duties.

    It means Britain may be forced to beg for international support in protecting our four Vanguard submarines, which carry Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent.

    Britain deploys seven SSN nuclear-powered hunter-killers. Last week it was revealed that the four older Trafalgar-class submarines, Trenchant, Torbay, Triumph and Talent, were out of action due to repairs and maintenance.

    [​IMG]
    A crack was discovered in the nuclear reactor of the submarine HMS Trenchant

    However, sources have confirmed that the Trenchant was docked after engineers discovered a fracture at the heart of its nuclear reactor while at sea. The fracture is on a metal weld connecting a coolant pipe to the reactor pressure vessel. It is currently less than 100mm long, classing it as a critical fault, but if it grows it would be classified “catastrophic”. Because it sits within a tank of water to shield the radiation it is extremely difficult for engineers to get at.

    A Navy source said yesterday: “The fracture has appeared in a pipe weld and our safety measures are very high. We will not sail until they are checked.”

    The Defence Safety Nuclear Regulator will decide the fate of the vessels, but nuclear engineers warned the fault was likely to be “terminal” – and may also affect the other three vessels because they are so old.

    [​IMG]

    The seriousness of the fault could render the submarine inert

    Nuclear engineer John Large, who in 2000 helped to repair a similar but less drastic fault on HMS Tireless, said: “If the fracture is in the reactor pressure valve, it would indicate that it’s on a weld. This would be very difficult to access.

    A crack has developed. It is at a critical level and it has been detected

    John Large, Nuclear engineer

    “It sits in a tank of water, to shield the radiation. Over time the rector pressure vessel becomes increasingly radioactive, and most of these vessels are approaching the end of their lifespan. The probability is that the Trenchant is non-repairable and that would be a disaster. A problem like this is likely to develop in each boat, because they are of similar ages.”

    Once such a fracture appears it is only a matter of time before restarting the reactor would make it grow to 100mm.

    Under the so-called break preclusion system, the reactor is designed never to require repair and never to fail. If it does fail it can’t be replaced.

    Mr Large added: “A crack has developed. It is at a critical level and it has been detected. Like when you have a chip on a windscreen, it is difficult to reliably predict when it will suddenly grow and shatter.”

    Sources suggested yesterday that the Royal Navy would be “pulling out all the stops” to deploy the boats once more.

    However, deploying any submarine with such a fault will render it a “lame duck”, as it would be forced to avoid the strain caused by sudden shifts in temperature, or risk catastrophic failure.

    Mr Large said: “These submarines are hunter killers – they are effectively sports cars required to manoeuvre rapidly. They need to run between ‘State A,’ idling, and ‘State B’, full power battle state, quickly if they are to avoid detection or even torpedo strikes. You cannot do this if there is a crack.”

    The Trafalgar submarines have had their service extended by 10 years due to ongoing delays in the construction and delivery of the new Astute class. But of Britain’s three Astutes, two are undergoing trials while the third is being repaired after a collision in Gibraltar.

    In 2013 a Ministry of Defence report revealed two Trafalgar class boats had been operating with a safety defect which put the vessels and crew at “serious” potential risk. Rear Admiral Chris Parry warned: “The SSNs are gatekeepers that detect and protect the UK from intrusive patrols by Russia and other opponents. They also provide vital protection for our Vanguard submarines.

    “Our deterrent is independent so, if our SSNs are not available, there are limits to what we can ask even the US to do because our Vanguard submarines need to maintain the secrecy of their operations. It does not help that the Government scrapped our Nimrod Maritime Patrol aircraft.

    “Instead of gatekeepers I suspect that we would have to ask the US to act as linebackers to keep any hostile snooping submarines at a distance.”

    An MoD spokesman denied that the submarines would be permanently out of action. He said: “It is untrue to suggest that HMS Trenchant or the rest of the T-class subs are unable to deploy again.”

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/766212/Nuclear-warning-royal-navy-submarines-grounded-crack-reactor
     
    nik141993 likes this.
  2. lca-fan

    lca-fan Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Britain should be stripped off of their super power status as it no longer has Nuclear Triad and is a diminishing power.

    How come Britain is still considered as super power, it should be replaced by India which is now economically and militarily is much stronger than Britain.
     
  3. A_poster

    A_poster Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Calm down. This line of reasoning look pathetic. And too add further: any talk of superpower this, superpower that is pathetic. Power need not be pronounced; it should be acknowledged implicitly. When you demand that someone should be stripped off some title, you are in a philosophical quandary where you have accepted that there is a power higher than both of you, which could arbitrate the matter between you two; which when defined in term of nations means that you are not completely sovereign, and when applied to fluid concepts like superpowers means that you are no superpower to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  4. Blue Marlin

    Blue Marlin 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    the trafalga class is old and are being retired.
    they are being replaced by the astute class sub .
    [​IMG]
     
  5. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    Aah !

    Thought one read these kind of stories exclusively in India about India.

    The Brits did imbibe a certain something from us in the nearly 200 years they lorded over us !@topic

    The Great in Britain seems grating .On the nerves & in print.
     
  6. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    What kind of an argument is that....!?

    The level of social prosperity there is way higher than what is found here...
    Despite having a smaller army theirs is much better equipped on a individual soldier level....
    They also have world class standing in highly regarded fields like Automotive Technologies...They have Given the World Jaguar, Land Rover, McLaren, Mini, Aston Martin, Caterham, TVR, Rolls Royce, Bentley , Lotus....I mean this list alone says enough...

    And about the Navy... Despite being just a tiny island country much smaller than us...though with a bigger coastline....Their Navy is as big if not bigger than ours by displacement....They have many Technologically Advanced Ships too....

    And Also no-one regards them as a Super Power anymore....They used to be...When they ruled half the planet with an iron fist....infact UK has shown a graceful ageing curve.....


    PS : When people make such arguments....It's looks very bad (immature) brother....We are on a tremendous growth curve...Let's finish that first... Hopefully we manage to clock in 9-10 % YoY GDP growth....We are no where near it now....(7-8 % now...)....Let's compete with ourselves and not belittle others.... Please...

    When the time comes the world will see every country for what it is...And what it stands for.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    thesolar65, SrNair, BMD and 2 others like this.
  7. venureddy

    venureddy Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    isn't the program delayed??? if not how much time does it take to replace all these old subs?
     
  8. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    The Trafalgar Class are the out-going attack submarines being replaced by Astute, it does not affect the Vanguard Class SSBNs. There are only 3 Trafalgar Class left in service, which were due for decommissioning by 2020 anyway. We have 4 SSBNs and 7 SSNs. Even with the loss of 1 SSN, there are still 6 SSNs to guard 4 SSBNs, and even with the 3 Trafalgars docked, each SSBN still has an Astute to guard it. So far a crack has only been found in one of them, the others are docked for inspection, just as an airline fleet would get grounded if a fault was found in one airliner. This is safety procedure, it does not mean the others are cracked, it is a precaution at this stage. This emphasis on safety is why our forces have an exemplary safety record second to none, and why not one single RAF Typhoon has been lost or seriously damaged in over 100,000 flying hours.

    A crack after 40-50 years is fairly typical for a reactor. The only difference is that many other countries are sailing around with cracked reactors and don't know about it because they don't do inspections, and they don't have free press either, so nobody would find out about it even if they found a crack.

    And having read further, the reactor isn't even cracked, it's a weld on a coolant pipe to a reactor. So the journalists have massively exaggerated this story. 1 welding crack = Oh no, entire navy is falling apart.:facepalm:
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  9. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    26 NOVEMBER, 2002: Spain's DA6 in first Eurofighter crash
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/spains-da6-in-first-eurofighter-crash-158444/
    Apr 24, 2008: Eurofighter Typhoon Crash (RAF fighter jet lands without wheels http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1916854/RAF-fighter-jet-lands-without-wheels.html )

    25 AUGUST, 2010: EUROFIGHTER SUFFERS FIRST FATAL CRASH IN SPANISH TRAINING ACCIDENT
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/a...first-fatal-crash-in-spanish-training-346800/

    Jun 10, 2014: Fatal Eurofighter crash in Spain
    http://aviationweek.com/blog/fatal-eurofighter-crash-spain

    Jun 23 2014 German Air Force Typhoon and private Lear Jet involved in a mid-air in Germany.
    https://theaviationist.com/2014/06/23/gaf-typhoon-midair/





     
  10. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    And does a Spanish jet belong to the RAF? No. Was the jet in the video lost? No. Was it seriously damaged? No. So what I said is bang on, there is no other air force with a fighter jet that's done over 100,000 flying hours with zero losses.

    As regards other Typhoon operators, only 2 have been lost in ~400,000 flying hours (0.5/100,000hrs), the one that the lear jet crashed into is still flying but the lear jet is not.

    No need to be jealous just because there's been 5 French Rafale losses in less hours.

    • On 6 December 2007, a French Air Force twin-seat Rafale crashed during a training flight. The pilot, who suffered from spatial disorientation, was killed in the accident.[245]
    • On 24 September 2009, after unarmed test flights, two French Navy Rafales returning to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, collided in mid-air about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the town of Perpignan in southwest France. One test pilot, identified as François Duflot, was killed in the accident, while the other was rescued.[246]
    • On 28 November 2010, a Rafale from the carrier Charles de Gaulle crashed in the Arabian Sea. This aircraft was supporting Allied operations in Afghanistan. The pilot ejected safely and was recovered by a rescue helicopter from the carrier. Later reports said the engine stopped after being starved of fuel due to confusion by the pilot in switching fuel tanks.[247]
    • On 2 July 2012, during a joint exercise, a Rafale from the carrier Charles de Gaulle plunged into the Mediterranean Sea. The pilot ejected safely and was recovered by an American search and rescue helicopter from the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.[248]
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  11. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    The above photos show the damaged, dismantled fighter on arrival back at its home base at Coningsby in Lincolnshire. Coded ‘DK’, the aircraft had been in RAF service less than four months when it crash landed on April 23, 2008.

    [​IMG](Image: Steviejaws, reproduced with permission)

    With all usable parts removed, the gutted fuselage is stored in a disused hardened aircraft shelter within the 11 Squadron complex. Its current use is unclear, though it may serve as a ground training aid for Typhoon crews.
     
  12. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    The aircraft wasn't lost though, unlike the 5 French Rafales. So again, my statement was correct.

    Furthermore, a DA is not an operational aircraft, and is used in a fundamentally more risky manner. Basically for testing, and during tests things often go wrong, that's why they do them and again, Spanish.

    I don't know why you'd be so keen to argue this with your 5 Rafale losses. You should be using our achievements wrt safety/reliability as something to strive for, rather than criticising them whilst performing several times worse yourself.

    https://www.eurofighter.com/news-an...typhoon-delivers-300000-reliable-flying-hours

    Eurofighter Typhoon delivers 300,000 reliable flying hours
    Press Release | Jul 17, 2015

    Eurofighter Typhoon has now achieved more than 300,000 flying hours since the entry-into-service of its worldwide fleet. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH confirmed the milestone today adding that, with 571 aircraft ordered and 438 delivered, the programme has “delivered unprecedented levels of reliability”.

    In the course of these flying hours, Eurofighter has demonstrated close to 100 per cent availability in numerous international deployments including: Malaysia; the United Arab Emirates; the USA; and India.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  13. OnePunchMan

    OnePunchMan 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    to be fair none of the rafale was lost due to poor maintenance pilot error is a human factor and any pilot can go wrong and even the best makes mistake after all we are all humans

    also the other losses were from Navy and maritime aviation is the most dangerous and difficult aviation you cant really compare ground based fighters to naval aviators so not really an apples to apples comparison rafale has been operationally deployed in war typhoon is still hasnt fired in anger yet.

    not to mention you will get the taste of maritime aviation with your single engined highly unreliable F-35b's when you and if you get them.
     
    Picdelamirand-oil likes this.
  14. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    None of the Typhoon incidents have been attributed to the plane either and none of the Rafale crashes had anything to do with landing on a carrier though, so the fact they were naval is irrelevant, and at least one of them was attributable to inadequate systems design:

    • On 28 November 2010, a Rafale from the carrier Charles de Gaulle crashed in the Arabian Sea. This aircraft was supporting Allied operations in Afghanistan. The pilot ejected safely and was recovered by a rescue helicopter from the carrier. Later reports said the engine stopped after being starved of fuel due to confusion by the pilot in switching fuel tanks.[247]
    A proper system with safeguards and interlocks would not have allowed such a switch. Spatial disorientation does not sound like the result of good avionics design either.
    • On 6 December 2007, a French Air Force twin-seat Rafale crashed during a training flight. The pilot, who suffered from spatial disorientation, was killed in the accident.[245]
    One would have though that SPECTRA would have prevented a mid-air collision and crashing into the ground with it's amazing situational awareness too. And it should also be noted that the Rafale hasn't been extensively used outside the French AF, unlike the Typhoon, which also has a bearing.
     
  15. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    One would have though the same with the German Air Force Typhoon and private Lear Jet involved in a mid-air collision.
     

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