Undoubtedly, American side will never reveal the details of the accident, just as we have never heard the Complete list of details concerning the Russian Kursk.
Reports concerning an accident with the US nuclear submarine USS San Francisco (SSN 771) were emerging on the world wide web at an incredible pace. The US nuclear sub USS San Francisco ran aground on Jan 8th 563 km south of the island of Guam in the Pacific. The submarine with 137 crewmen on board was on its way to the homeport in Guam. 23 crewmen got injured as a result of the collision. One of them was deadly injured. Overall, many of such reports still contain a hint of mystery. Let's try to examine the matter in details…
So far, there's been no report regarding possible damage to the reactor itself. According to American officials, the reactor has not been damaged and there is no danger of a radiation leak. The investigation is under way. According to the information obtained by “Pravda.Ru”, the multipurpose nuclear submarine San Francisco was constructed by the “Newport News Shipbuilding” company in Newsport News, VA. It has officially joined the US fleet on April 24th, 1981. “San Francisco” is one of American multipurpose submarines. Depending on the equipment, these subs could be used to defeat ground targets (by means of “Hughes Tomahawk” missiles as well as ships (by means of “Harpoon” missiles).
Such submarines also get equipped with self-navigating torpedoes Mk 48 and ADCAP to fight underwater targets. Nine of such subs were used during Gulf war in 1991. It was back then that while being positioned in eastern part of the Mediterranean sea two of the vessels hit the targets in Iraq. By 1991, three quarter of “San Francisco”-type vessels were supplied with winged missiles “Tomahawk”, meaning that they were initially intended to be used to fight ground targets. A total of 133 crewmen on board, displacement tonnage—6082, length—110,3 meters; single nuclear reactor; above-water speed: 20 knots, underwater speed: 32 knots.
It is also noteworthy to mention that the catastrophe (running aground could in fact be considered as a catastrophe!) occurred approximately (plus or minus a thousand mile, which isn’' so much on the grand ocean's scale) in the region of the most recent underwater earthquake (which led to destructive tsunami in South-East Asia. Was the submarine's positioning in that particular area purely accidental? Time will show.
The following fact is also quite noteworthy: such incidents tend to occur more often in the US Navy than they do in Russian. Information agency “Russky Sever” (Russian North) assisted PRAVDA.RU in contacting several naval experts in regards to the matter. According to the experts, first of all, our nuclear submarines tend to put out to sea more rarely. And secondly, training specifics of American crewmen could also be the reason. American submarine crewmen are taught that their main targets are coming from “above”. In other words, they are being convinced that the main danger is crashing into the above-water objects. As for Russians, they on the contrary are taught to avoid running aground instead of watching out for the danger from “above”. Obviously, this is a mere opinion; it can either be trusted or completely disregarded. However, statistics speaks for itself: American subs tend to run aground more often, whereas Russian subs tend to crash into above water objects.
However, there remains one more unanswered question: why did “San Francisco” suddenly hit the bottom with such force that so many people got injured? Did something take place aboard the vessel prior to the sub running aground? It is a known fact that submarines do not tend to malfunction all of a sudden. Automated system of submergence and emergence executes operations smoothly.
It seems that the accident resembles the Kursk tragedy (at least judging by the visible signs). At first, an incident aboard takes place, then the vessel hits the bottom, thus leaving numerous crewmen injured. This time, Americans got quite lucky. Only one man died. Undoubtedly, American side will never reveal the details of the accident, just as we have never heard the Complete list of details concerning the Russian Kursk.
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