Attack submarine USS San Francisco sits in dry dock, on January 27, 2005, in Apra Harbor, Guam to assess damage sustained after running aground
The US Navy’s dismissal of the ship’s command level on the 4th due to a loss of trust may have given some hints. After the naval investigation, the commanding officer Cmdr. Cameron Aljilani and two other high-level cadres were dismissed.
According to the dismissal statement, the 7th Fleet Commander and U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander of US 7th Fleet, determined that “sound judgment, prudent decision-making and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution and risk management could have prevented the incident,” according to a statement about the decision.
The submarine environment is very changing, and a small mistake can cause serious consequences.
Thomas Shugart, who has commanded attack submarines in the U.S. submarine service for more than 11 years, said, “Submarining is hard, it’s really hard. Not everything goes right all the time.”
Xu Carter currently serves as a part-time senior researcher at the Center for a New American Security. He said that surface ships or submarines navigating deep in the periscope can rely on the Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide accurate positions. But when diving into the deep sea, the GPS system cannot be used. Submarines can only use compasses and charts to locate.
Accurate seafloor maps (with a resolution of up to 100 meters) are drawn using multi-beam sonar technology, but this process is expensive and time-consuming, so up to 80% of the world’s seafloor topography has not been mapped.
David Sandwell, a geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, told CNN that the South China Sea is one of the busiest sea areas in the world, and one-third of the world’s shipping trade passes through this place. China has also reclaimed the sea to build islands and build military fortresses here, and the seabed landforms it has drawn are still less than 50%. He said: “It’s not surprising that you could run into something.”
The U.S. Navy has not yet revealed where the Connecticut hit the sea mountain range. The official statement is in the Indo-Pacific waters, but officials from the US Department of Defense previously told CNN that the accident occurred in the South China Sea.
Sandwell tried to narrow the range a bit, using the method of measuring the vertical gradient of gravity to measure the earth’s gravity field through satellite altimetry, and coincide with the seabed topography of the South China Sea. He managed to identify 27 possibilities that were not on the US military chart. Location of the accident.
He said, “The depth of these locations is less than 400 meters. This depth submarine is likely to hit (undersea mountains).”
US Navy officials claim that the maximum operating depth of Seawolf-class submarines is 800 feet (243 meters), but some experts believe that the actual depth should be about twice.
The submarine itself is also equipped with sonar, but the use of sonar must pay a price: loss of concealment effect. While the sonar emits sound waves, it also exposes the position of the submarine.
Xu carter said, “Sonar is the only way to detect the seabed, but you don’t want to emit too many unnecessary sound waves.” If you want to get accurate images, “sound waves have to be emitted about every 20 seconds. That makes too much noise.”