×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...
6

The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

(OP)
Not yet sure what the precise cause was, but it appears to have been serious as there were injures and the sub's hull shows damage from what appears to have been a collision with something hard. That part of the South China Sea is known for it's treacherous bottom features and outcroppings of rocks and since submarines of this type seldom use active sonar, so as to remain undetected, it's often difficult to spot these hazards.

Attack Submarine USS Connecticut Suffers Underwater Collision in South China Sea

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/07/breaking-attack-s...

An excerpt from the above item:

Almost a dozen sailors have been injured after a U.S. nuclear attack submarine hit an unknown underwater object in the South China Sea, USNI News has learned.

The Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) suffered an underwater collision while operating in international waters on Oct. 2 and is returning to port in U.S. 7th Fleet, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.

“The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life-threatening injuries,” Capt. Bill Clinton told USNI News. “The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

The mishap investigation should be able to get a definitive picture of the type of object struck... shape, size, orientation, density/mass, type of material, etc. Also, passive oceanic 'listening devices'... such as the sub's own acoustic listening devices and the SOSUS system... should be able to pin-point the collision, the object 'X' and offer added/relevant data regarding the aftermath.

Taking a pure WAG... Unless this damage was caused by a passive stealth military device... it simply might have hit a 'relatively small' neutrally buoyant, hard to detect, steel cargo container... or similar oceanic debris... drifting slowly to the seabed.

Random collisions have happened between satellites and/or orbital junk... and the probabilities of orbital collisions are getting worse by each launch. IT HAPPENS.

An old friend once said... when it came to falling debris from an airplane... "No sweat: big sky, little me". Problem is that the laws of averages only get worse as the sea, air and space get more crowded.

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

I suspect its more likely to be the ongoing issues with that fleet with training and leadership which have cost the US taxpayer a rather a lot of money over the last few years

Close second though is a shipping container floating about..

Third is a uncharted sea mount.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

They have probably made enough noise by now that they may turn on the sonar, unnoticed.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

(OP)
From the reports, they're already at the Naval base in Guam.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

(OP)
With respect to the notion that it could have been a collision with a lost shipping container, this is becoming a very big problem:

Huge Spike In Shipping Containers Lost At Sea

https://gcaptain.com/shipping-containers-lost-at-s...

While this is an older item, it still talks about the problem and cites several incidents where they suspect that there have been collisions with partially submerged containers. There's also a quote in there about the estimate that over 10,000 containers a year are lost at sea:

Could a floating shipping container sink your yacht? How real is the danger?

https://www.yachtingworld.com/news/could-a-floatin...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

(OP)
Turns out that this is NOT the first time that the USS Connecticut has encountered an unexpected 'obstacle':

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

A lost container would certainly be my first thought in an incident like this. The only thing about containers is that they either float or they sink so there is a very small window of time to hit one between those two states. They're a problem for surface vessels because they can float with only an inch above the surface. Otherwise, I don't think subs are skimming 8 ft from the bottom with any speed.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

2
I'm finding it extremely hard to believe that a Seawolf class sub that weighs something like 9,000 tons could hit a 40 ton container and have the impact cause a dozen or so crew injuries.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

I don't think a 40 ton container could be buoyant under any conditions.

However, it doesn't take a whole lot of upset to cause injury. Any sudden changes in speed/direction can knock people over and cause injury.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

I understand the terrain is pretty rough in that area...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

(OP)
And if that 'Seawolf' class sub was running anywhere near its 'reported top speed', which is 35 knots (40 mph), any sudden change in speed or direction could very well cause crew members to fall and injure themselves. BTW, that's why the three 'Seawolf' class subs are NOT being replaced by the newer 'Virginia' class subs (19 of which have already been placed into service with another 19 currently under construction or planned) because not only is the 'Seawolf' class sub the fastest in the US 'fast attack submarine' fleet, they can also dive much deeper, nearly twice the test depth of the the 'Virginia' or the 'Los Angeles' classes. Note that it's the 'Los Angeles' class subs (28 of which are still in service with 31 having already been decommissioned) which the 'Virginia' class is actually replacing. The reason that only three 'Seawolf' class subs were ever built is because they were so expensive. It was decided that while it was nice to have a sub that could dive to a depth of over 1,600 feet, whereas the test depth for the rest of the fleet was around 850 feet, the extra cost couldn't be justified, but the Navy is going to keep them around because it's still nice to have at least a few subs that can operate at that depth, if need be. And it's top speed, being around five knots faster than the other so-called 'fast' boats, might come in handy as well.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Subs don't have to deal with that wake generating water air interface. They're supposedly the fastest ships in the fleet.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Quote (TugboatEng)



I don't think a 40 ton container could be buoyant under any conditions.




Shipping containers should not be weighing 40 tons. Perhaps the reference should be "40 foot".

A standard 40' shipping container displaces 78 tons. It's empty weight is 4 tons. Maximum loaded is 30 tons.

There are also 20' containers, which would of course displace 39 tons. Empty weight is 2 tons. Maximum loaded is 30 tons.

So they HAVE to float.

How well and how long is another question.

IF a 40' container weighed 40 tons, it would float. IF a 20' container weighed 40 tons, it would sink.



spsalso

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

The 40 foot container interior, m3 67.7 (total displacement of 78 tons is possible.
Density of water at 4C = 1000 kg/m3
Weight of water in a flooded container = 67700 kg

Not counting whatever is in the container.

If the container is flooded the inertia of the water in the container counts.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Quote (Lionel)

I'm finding it extremely hard to believe that a Seawolf class sub that weighs something like 9,000 tons could hit a 40 ton container and have the impact cause a dozen or so crew injuries.
My thought also, Lionel.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

I can't help it.
A polar bear approached and licked the rudder...
It took a licking and kept on ticking.
Sorry.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Yes. A flooded ISO container will not float.

spsalso

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

12 crew hurt, that means a hard hit. A container hit would be bad and trash the sonar dome, but not injure 12 crew. Me thinks hit something on the bottom. It happens. Not everything out there is charted. And they don't run active sonar all the time, so kinda flying blind. Running active sonar broadcasts your location and identity.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

There hasn't been a published incident like this since the Los Angeles class USS San Francisco hit a badly charted seamount in 2005. 98 injuries and one death. It took 2-1/2 days to reach Guam at reduced speed.
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/what-happ...
It was in Guam for weeks to patch-up well enough to return to the US.

I say "published incident" as there were many collisions between US and Russian submarines that were only disclosed years later. This incident involves a Seawolf-class submarine that 2x the maximum depth and move 5 knots faster than any other US sub. So it has a much stronger hull. We don't know exactly where it was operating but it seems to have reached Guam fairly quickly. It may be a part of the large 6-country/4-carrier fleet exercise operating in the Philippine Sea between Guam and Taiwan right now.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Quote (Yes. A flooded ISO container will not float.)


not even a tiny one? With apologies to Monty Python...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

You think the Chinese might have anti sub equipment? Just deliberately drop containers into the sea?

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

I suspect the sea floor is cover with crap thats fallen off ships over the years.

It could have been a ship wreck they hit.

UK waters they tend to drag a wire across them when they know about them.

I don't expect they do anything with them in that part of the world.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

AutisticBez - you stated what I've been thinking. China has been trying to claim the South China Sea and is building islands. Lots of international conflict. I wouldn't put it past China to create a underwater hazard just for subs. Maybe cable together several shipping containers with slight positive buoyancy anchored to another one firmly on the bottom. Fill them with the right goods and it looks like lost cargo. I can't imagine a sub fast cruising with 10 feet under the keel where they might hit lost cargo. But I could see one doing so with 50 or 100 feet under the keel.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

That's an interesting theory; using disguised shipping containers to create an unmapped minefield of navigation hazards. It would be difficult to prove and even more difficult to enforce any kind of sanction against China.

Brad Waybright

The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Quote (thebard3)



...using disguised shipping containers to create an unmapped minefield of navigation hazards. It would be difficult to prove...


I think it would be easy to prove: You go back to the area and find the rest of the minefield that WASN'T hit by the submarine.

In this case, shipping containers concealed behind fake mustaches and sunglasses. Sorry, couldn't help it. But what would the "disguise" be? And let's not forget that if you found one of these, it would be very obvious that it was done by intent: you have the disguise, and you have the container inside. HOW does China explain THAT?

What one might do is just use 40' containers on end. "I guess they just landed that way." You only get 40', but that might be enough. But it does look suspicious. And likely pretty findable for anyone using active detection.


spsalso

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

So the Chinese placed a shipping container precisely into the path of a stealth submarine? That's pretty far fetched even for a Clive Cussler novel.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Would explain the worldwide container shortage though.

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a conspiracy!

A.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

And the occasional fishing trawler catches a submarine, it just happens.

Lots of incidents, here is one.
https://www.deseret.com/1989/11/2/18830615/fishing...

Try this search https://duckduckgo.com/?t=lm&q=fishing+trawler...

While china may have, and is certainly capable of constructing boobytraps, there are likely plenty of uncharted natural hazards. I doubt a conclusion of nefarious intent is warranted at this time.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Surely the Navy knows exactly where it happened, so hopefully they are exploring that area.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Submarines skulk. Sometimes they skulk near "special places". Sometimes those special places attempt to be unwelcome to skulkers.

The US Navy may well release location, speed, direction and purpose regarding this sub. Perhaps it will be true.


spsalso

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Quote:

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a conspiracy!

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Quote (bones206 )

So the Chinese placed a shipping container precisely into the path of a stealth submarine? That's pretty far fetched even for a Clive Cussler novel.

But if one applies AI to the problem of likely submarine paths in a complex environment (shallow waters,confined space, acoustic monitoring stations, natural hazards and likely targets etc) there is likely to be only a few tracks the submariners will pick after which a couple of ship loads of containers is a really cheap effective defence (or even just move defence elements so the USN may drive into a obstacle that is only on the PRC charts) .

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Containers with terminal guidance.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

A black flag operation involving submersible tar kettles. It's the only possible explanation.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Wow guys we are really starting to connect the dots here. Now let’s find the link to the Wuhan Lab!

Putting sarcasm aside for a second, yes it’s possible The Chinese military could be involved but I find it much less likely than a more innocuous explanation. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people start buying into bad guy du jour hype and otherism. It’s not like the US navy doesn’t have a track record of running into things.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

The thread is so stuck on shipping containers that it might take 13 continuation threads to exhaust that possibility.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

How about a container loaded with submersible tar kettles and about to be black flags?
Or, most likely:
Let not your buoyancy fail lest the ground rise up and smite thee.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Recognising how often this actually happens, a strong possibility has to be a perfectly adequately surveyed obstacle combined with a track plotted on too small a scale of chart using too blunt a pencil.

A.

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

More probably they discovered a new volcano.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

Aussies on a test d(r)ive?

RE: The attack sub USS Connecticut, involved in an underwater collision in the South China Sea...

A shipping container full of water (or whatever) will deform rapidly upon impact with the sub. As it crushes the interior volume is reduced and the water pressure inside will quickly blow open the doors or rip open a weld. The water quickly vents out and its mass is reduced. The container steel is thin and will crumple.

It is NOT like hitting a 30 ton solid object. More like a bat swung at plastic bottle full of water.

Me thinks it hit an uncharted rock (uncharted for us). Or barely maybe another sub, that is way unlikely. If there was another boat operating out there, we would hear it with passive sonar.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close