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I wonder, how deep attack nuclear sub can dive?

  1. Nov 9, 2009 #1
    As a topic, how deep attack nucler submerine can dive?

    My friend says 1,000 metre, Is Atk sub these day can really dive that deep?

    If true, can it fire torpidoes in that deep level?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2009 #2

    It appears, the deepest is about 1400m

    I only found one torpedo that can be used at 800m so far, others are limited to about 400m. I'm not sure of the limitations of actually firing one, but that is the design depth before the torpedo is crushed.
  4. Nov 9, 2009 #3
    Real numbers are classified, but the term used in the Navy for the maximum safe depth is 'test depth'. You never want to exceed test depth. Not necessarily because of safety reasons since they add a considerable safety buffer, but due to the boat then needing to be dry docked and out of commission so you can check the hull for integrity.
  5. Nov 9, 2009 #4
    I see, military classified.
    But for a war machine that can dive >1,000m, If their found enemy ship at same depth, They just have to say 'hi' because no one can attack with torpedo in that deep.

    and I guess nobody want to try reach maximum deep with ship that cost hundred million dollars.
  6. Nov 9, 2009 #5


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    It's probably more that it gives you an extra place to hide in order to either avoid the enemy or sneak up on them
  7. Nov 10, 2009 #6
    you could ram the other sub :devil: but that would probably be a little 'kamikaze'. Oh, and try 2.8 billion dollars...
  8. Nov 12, 2009 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    All the way to the bottom!
  9. Nov 12, 2009 #8


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    Or search for underwater aliens...:biggrin:
  10. Nov 13, 2009 #9
    :rofl: 555 Nice one.
    Have you ever read Silent Service? one nuclear sub can stand against entire US Pacific fleet. Almost impossible but when I look in their strategy it might be possible.

    Okay, back on track.
    Assuming that they have unlimited food and water supply, How long attack nuclear submerine can operate individuality?

    And how long they can dive without going up to surface? (Air supply per one dive)

    Or another classified?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  11. Nov 13, 2009 #10


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    I imagine it would have to do with how long the can scrub air.

  12. Nov 13, 2009 #11


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    The reactors are generally fueled for the life of the boat >20years
    They make their own air from electrolysis of sea water and fresh water in the same way.
    The limit on endurance is set by the amount of food carried (about 6-9 months)
  13. Nov 13, 2009 #12


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    Can't neglect the sanity of the crew. Used to be US subs had 2 crews, Each did 3months under water and 3 months up. Even at that, I swear all bubbleheads who did more than 1 or 2 cruises were permanently warped.
  14. Nov 13, 2009 #13


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    The Royal Navy solution is to have the bases at Portsmouth and Glasgow - as an alternative to visiting these, spending 3 months in a metal tube under the north Atlantic looks pretty good.
  15. Dec 19, 2009 #14
    Let me just add that any interesting performance specs for military subs are going to be classified, so it's a waste of time to ask for them. Most of the people on here won't know and those that do are not allowed to say. You might as well say, "Hey, I'm looking for classified info. Can anyone help?"
  16. Dec 19, 2009 #15


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    When I worked for General Physics, most of the people in my department were ex-Navy sub guys. I got pretty close to a couple of them, including the guy who was assigned as my project manager. About the only thing I could find out about their deployments was that they were deployed practically without notice, and that until they were under water (and maybe not even then) nobody on the sub knew how long they would be gone. Could be a short deployment to shake down some new equipment - could be months and months. It takes strong cohesive families to make that work, and most of those guys were REAL family-men.

    We were in some really high-pressure environments, working under deadlines to produce for some of the top industrial companies in the US, and never once did any of the ex-sub guys raise their voice, even when things were going very poorly (failure of a high-speed in-house printing system, etc) that might threaten our contracts. A very stable bunch of dudes.
  17. Dec 19, 2009 #16
    I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

    Seriously though, I do remember a story about a sub I think LA class, which had it's depth gauge inadvertently isolated for a tagout. As the story goes, they started having deck-plate bolts sheer off and ping around the engine room when the lower level watch asked the Watch Supervisor why his seawater pump suction readings were so high out of spec. They asked the Engineering Officer of the Watch what the depth was, he responded that they were still at periscope depth. A few minutes later when they finally unisolated their depth instruments they were unpleasantly surprised and did an emergency blow, followed by changing pants. When they got to the surface the outside of the boat looked like an accordion because of where the skin had bowed in between the ribs.

    Don't know if it's true, but it's very likely. There is a difference between how deep can it go and how deep it can go once.

    Oh and Vanadium, I think the OP meant how deep can it go and return from. Surface ships are also known to be able to dive to the bottom, although for some reason that isn't a selling feature.
  18. Dec 19, 2009 #17


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    It doesn't sound likely to me. Especially the part about watch officer stating they are all the time at the periscope depth. When submarine dives its hull is squeezed by the pressure and makes strange sounds - so while the crew that doesn't have access to depth gauge doesn't know what depth they are at, they can hear depth changing.
  19. Dec 19, 2009 #18
    Well, while it's true submarines do make strange sounds while submerging if the boat slowly crept down over the course of a week it could have been so gentle it was overlooked. If they started out near neutral buoyancy and went down at a fraction of a foot per minute then it could all add up so slowly the boat just settled into place. Remember nuclear subs are underwater continuously for patrols and only change depth when required.
  20. Dec 20, 2009 #19


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    Do you really think people in command of multibillion attack subs are that stupid?

    Besides, they don't drift aimlessly for weeks. They have to change their course to be aware of what is going on around the ship (hydrophones have a directional characteristic and subs are better at knowing what they have in front than what they have in back). They have to change depth to check what is going on on the other side of the thermocline.

    The story just don't hold water. I can imagine that malfunctioning depth gauge made them think they are at different depth during manoeuvres, but that the sub went to some insane depth and no one have noticed anything sounds off.
  21. Dec 20, 2009 #20
    I'm an ex-US Submarine officer. So, I happen to know these numbers. But can't say. Read Tom Clancy. He's pretty close.

    Chayced's story is a non-starter for many, many reasons. Urban myth.
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