To be absolutely fair to the RN, I wonder how good the charts are for that area?
I recall watching a programme last year about a Scottish trawler that either hit a submerged rock or lost its nets on something that wasn't marked on the charts. They reported the damage and the Hydrographic Office despatched a survey vessel which found a pinnacle that hadn't been mapped because it was so "thin". At low tide, the rock was only a few metres below the surface but had been missed by the survey vessels.
I can't see the Red Sea being any better mapped than the Scottish Islands!
If the Telegraph is to be believed they were submerged at the time of the collision. I can't understand why they would transit the Gulf of Suez submerged; it's rather shallow, poorly surveyed as you point out, and filled with uncharted wrecks and oilrig paraphernalia. Poor drills and a duff risk assessment, unless there's a burningly important operational reason for not being on the surface.
Was this MORE fecking tracing paper covering the Charts, or is it a case of the sonar not being switched on to save the electricity bill being too high?. "Water in the people tank!, Blow main Ballast!"
- first, GPS doesn't work under water as the signal from the satellite won't penetrate far enough. Instead they relay on inertial navigation aids, good charts and lots of other tricks I can't guess at.
- second, PassingBells is absolutely right about the sub being meant to operate under water, esp a nuke powered one. You only surface when you actually need to. The whole point is to stay hidden.
- third, "stuff happens" when you're doing something like this. It's not like that boat that managed to hit Australia a few years back. Now that was dumb. Oh, and what about the one that hit London Bridge
I think the RN needs to spend some money on a good public relations team. i'm sure it has done something of great success recently but I can only recall 'errors' recently and they have indicated a lack of professional ability. Oh ! they did do a good job painting railings on Malta according to the Warship programme the other night.
What with MOD being so tight with equipment purchases, they were probably navigating with a dodgy, third-hand sat-nav that they bought off Ebay....and it was programmed for a journey from Possilpark to Longniddry.
I noticed that too. HMS Superb can't have long left before paying off as it is. I think that there will be a long hard look taken at the cost of repairs versus taking the sub out of service now as being more cost effective. Given that HMS Astute can't be that far off joining the fleet I think that this option will be given serious consideration.