Shipmate of mine sent me this…

It was definitely true when we were doing it… Hopefully it’s a bit better today…

And I know some scientists that are STILL arguing about the figures from experiments lo these many years later… sigh


TBT… — 16 Comments

  1. ACCUARACY – oh man, that sums it up. Not just ASW but a whole lot of other more observable things, like terminal ballistics. “Golden BB – AGAIN!?” Nothing more sure to occur than “nah, that’s not possible, numbers say so.”

    [Golden BB – the improbable small thing that penetrates to destroy the One Key Component. George Lucas wasn’t too far off with the Death Star and “shielded exhaust port”.]

  2. I can neither confirm nor deny that black magic may have been involved in the detection of submarines by the acoustic operators back in the 70’s. And while we may have thrown a few rune stones and prayed to the Gods of ASW before each flight, our TACCO drew the line at sacrificing a small animal and reading the entrails for signs of good portent.

  3. I was on subs in the 70s, and I remember that aphorism as being the description of fire control. The description I was given as to how Ekelund ranging was supposed to work seemed to confirm it.

  4. Yeah, you seem to be using sonar as the main sensor.

    Sonar, the more I learn adjacent to it, seems like it /would/ be a pretty screwy sort of sensor to work with.

    ‘actuator’ end might also be a bit chancy. Depth charges, etc.

    It’d be interesting to see if we could generate better figures, with better experiments today.

    Problems include a) funding b) ‘shut up’ strings that could be tied to the funding c) even the best people for doing the experiments might be pretty crazy, and there is not certainty that the funding would reach the best people. Folks in a funding organization might disagree on criteria describing best, etc.

  5. I was a Sonar Technician on submarines (STS1 (SS)) back in the 70’s.

    ASW is hard, from either point of view – surface or submarine. Everyone, including us submariners, recognized that a submarine has all of the advantages until…

    …it gets detected. After that, the tables are turned.

    However, that’s the rub. Detecting a modern submarine is very, very difficult. Even way back then, they were hole-in-the-water quiet. They also operate in a 3D environment and can go deep or shallow to get below or above layers, deep sound channels and other environmental effects. If we are trying to hide-with-pride (boomers) or commit a stealthy attack on a carrier or some such (SSN), it becomes even more difficult for the ASW team. Active sonar is okay for what it is, but on passive sonar, we could hear active pinging over twice the distance they could get a contact on us.

    I told you all of that to tell you that when I was out there and we were exercising with any surface ASW group, we *always* had a noise augmentation unit. We were also restricted to a defined area – the “box”. There is a very good reason for that.

    In order for friendly ASW forces to effectively practice search and attack procedures, they must prosecute an actual contact. If they could never find us, or it took a very long time to do so, the exercise would be for naught.

    That’s the way we did it then. Now? Who knows, my time was over 40 years ago. Technology marches on and 40 years is a long time. The enemy submarines have gotten a lot better since then.

    I hope all of our ASW is successful – airdale, surface and submarine. We are, after all, on the same team.

    Roy – SSBN600, SSBN622, SSN673

  6. Roy

    All true – At least up to ten years ago. “Can you guys broach and turn on your nav lights so we at least know where you are at the start of the. Exercise?”” Still could not find us after a few “mark on top”s

    All good – don’t want to abuse old NFOs hospitality- all on the same team.
    Best rider we ever had was a P3 pilot from Barbers Point (dating myself)- he had us dying laughing with his short to the point commentary on u/w life on an SSN
    Ed SSN 689, SSN 688, SSN 696, SSN 639, SSBN 740B, AGSS 555

  7. Sound is probably the most arcane. Radar and IR are also “intertesting.” The sensor and half the software are magic. Countermeasures are even more magical, sometimes to the point of “there IS a target in the range, correct?”

  8. I was an AX (Aviation Anti-submarine Warfare Technician), working on the VAST test system. “Questionable mentality” doesn’t begin to describe VASTards.

  9. All- LOL, yes, it was always a ‘challenge’… Even more so when trying to do ‘Coordops’ with a surface platform! As soon as we ‘gained’, here they came, and there went the contact!

    Bob- We ‘were’ doing some testing in the early 20teens, don’t know what became of the data since it was ‘interesting’…

  10. I’ve seen a very similar sign at the CIA.
    Alas, I know things haven’t gotten any better there.

  11. I think I’ve said this before here, we could track the hell out of them. Until they got tired of playing and would disappear. “Poof” – gone…

    Tenn Bud – I was an AX2 until they took away the pro pay. Changed to ATR and ATR rated 100% on the next exam cycle. Winning…