Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Soviet Submarine Disaster of the Day

Victor I SSN "K-314" collides with the carrier "Kitty Hawk".

The carrier was taking part in the joint American-Korean exercise "Team Spirit-84" and the submarine K-314 was conducting a trail of the carrier and its escorts. In the course of several days (according to the American press) the escort ships detected the K-314 several times and after simulating destroying her 15 times, planned on breaking off from the submarine.

The carrier entered South Korean waters to break off contact. K-314 remained outside territorial waters and having lost contact with the carrier, conducted a search. The seach depth was poorly chosen, not taking into account acoustic conditions which allowed for the optimal conditions to search for surface ships to be at a depth of 40 meters. At that depth, the carrier could have surely been detected at a range of more than 150 km.

The surface sea state was up to two, there was full night time visibility. The soviet boat, located at a depth of nine meters, was unable to fix the beginning of the Kitty Hawk's movement. The commander of K-314 located the escort group at around 2250 and conducted visual surveillance via periscope. At that moment, the boat was located next to the carrier which was running without lights at a distance of 9-10 cables. The Kitty Hawk was on a course of 160, speed 16 knots. The Soviet boat was located ahead of the carrier and didn't detect it and at 2300 made a sharp course change to 250. Within three minutes, the K-314 felt the force of a ramming blow from the carrier. The Kitty Hawk struck the submarine on the starboard side of the stern and received a small hole in the area of the aviation fuel bunkers on the starboard side. The carrier continued on course and the damaged submarine had to make an emergency surfacing.

The boat suffered light damage on the sail and the outer hull as a result of the glancing blow and her right horizontal stabilizer was dinged, the right shaft bent and the right shaft seal was broken. The boat lost way and drifted helplessly on the surface.

The large anti-submarine cruiser "Petropavlovsk" came to her aid after a few house and later the boat was towed by a salvage tug to Vladivostok for repairs.

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