Friday, August 04, 2006

How Did They Get the Hull Number Right?

As Bubblehead's recent Nautilus post reminds us, the advent of nuclear submarines was the military's PR equivalent of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. Nautilus (SSN-571) and Seawolf (SSN-575) appeared on commemorative lunchboxes, the backs of kid's cereal cartons, all manner of magazine stories and other presentations too numerous to mention.

Plastic modelling kit companies competed for exciting models of early nuke boats. Look at the top photo of one found on Ebay.

All subs during the Cold War were constructed with significant design differences according to Admiral Rickover's wisdom. The Seawolf (SSN-575) was so unique that she is still sometimes termed a research or test platform. Sometimes, that was very correct as has been pointed out, for example, by WILLYSHAKE here, and at UQNM, here. Throughout her long service, however, the 575 boat also participated in operations of value to her country: in 1961, and here, for example. Silent service tradition limits the telling of the many more.

Bothenook provided the lower photo in an interesting funny looking submarines posting. Read the whole thing (very short). Here's an excerpt:
...we called her the seaskunk, because of the white painted topside and stripe on the sail.we were painted like that to support DSRV training and qualification trials. we were supposed to be one of the "mother subs" for the dsrv program in the early/mid 70's.

Now, compare the two photos, and ask yourself this...
QUESTION: Ignoring all the glaring errors, (Nautilus-style hull, single shaft, aft torpedo loading, non-step sail and masts) how did the kit company get the hull number and DSRV right?

HINT #1: Seawolf did not look like either photo when commissioned or decommissioned.
HINT #2: DRSVs were certainly developed by the time of the Thresher tragedy (1963).

ANSWER (Highlight with cursor): They got it wrong; Seawolf was not a Regulus boat like Halibut. That's a Regulus pod, not a DSRV.

Since submarines are always silent and strange, that might raise another...
QUESTION: Was this another manufacturer's error, complicit agreement with the DOD, or intentional deception?
ANSWER: As Chap might correctly add, "Some of you guys read too much conspiracy theory stuff."


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Chap said...

Who, me?


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