last Saturday night (24 Sep) in Australia a program on the SBS network called “As it happened” was shown. This was a hour long program reiterating what conspiracy theorists mooted for sometime, that is the Kursk’s fate involved a minor collision with the USS Toledo and a premptive defensive strike from the USS Memphis via a Mk48 torpedo.
This whole program’s intent was to try an uncover why it took the Russian Navy so long to locate and attempt a rescue of the Kursk given she went down in such shallow water that if raised on her nose (or what was left of it) 39% of the submarine would have cleared the surface of the water. In fact you could clearly see her from a low flying aircraft. The program also sought to explain why repeated offers from the West to help in a rescue were rejected by the Russians.
For those not in the know, the official finding of fact about the Kursk was a burst Hydrogen-peroxide ("High Test Peroxide" or HTP) line in a torpedo aboard the Kursk, reacted with surrounding metals causing an exponential build up of gases inside the torpedos casing and this rapidly expanding gas blew apart the torpedo casing, started a fire in the torpedo room, and the fire out of control cooked off the torpedos in the room, blowing the front end literally off the sub. Hydrogen-peroxide powered torpedoes were abandoned by the West in the 1950’s for the inherit dangers of leaking HTP reacting with surrounding metals. The Soviet Navy and later the Russian Navy I understand have only just abandoned the use of this fuel source.
Previous examples of problems in the West with HTP include the sinking of the HMS Sidon on June 16, 1955 : -A torpedo being readied for a morning test shot had begun a "hot-run" — its engine had started while it was still inside the submarine and was over-revving, creating very high pressures in its fuel system. Known as "the Fancy" this torpedo used HTP as an oxidizer. When an oxidizer line burst, HTP sprayed onto the copper fittings inside the torpedo, decomposing into oxygen and steam. The torpedo's warhead did not detonate, but its hull burst violently, rupturing the torpedo tube and causing the flooding that destroyed the boat.
Re the Kursk. There were an an abundancy of theories related to her loss before the finding of fact. A lot of these theories suggested Western interference but these were dismissed as fanciful.
The SBS program tied together two elements not stated in the finding of fact: What her exercise mission was, and the unusual economic responses by the US Government.
The Kursk mission according to the program was to demonstrate to Chinese observers the Russian super-speed torpedo called the Shkval, or the Squall in English. Originally revealed in 1995, this rocket-powered supercavitating torpedo travels at a velocity of approximately 375-400 km/h or about 230-250 mph that would give a targeted vessel very little chance to perform evasive maneuvers.
The program stated that the US did not want Chinese purchases of this weapon so the US deployed two LA class attack subs to the test area. The Toledo’s mission was to run an interference course – a course where they not only delibrately reveal themselves to the Kursk, but set a course where in the very shallow waters of the test area, the Toldeo would affectively be in harms way between the test shot and the floating target, thus hampering the exercise. According to the program in such shallow waters manourving two subs of their respective sizes would have been difficult. Tight turning the Kursk’s length could with very little error in trim have bottomed her out. The program suggests the Toledo accidentally struck the Kursk, and this noise is consistent with an initial sisemograph reading which the finding of fact stated was caused by the HTP torpedo exploding. The collision apparently did not cause the Kursk any significant damage but damaged the Toledo.
The Toledo left the area and made for Norwegian port – which is a fact as satelite imaging days later show her on the surface in port. According to the program, the Memphis was covering the Toledo while the Toledo was running interference, with Toledo’s damage and departure Memphis took up station in her place. The Memphis then heard the flooding of the Kursks tubes openning of the outer torpedo doors the pre rocket start up of the Shkval. The Memphis steered hard to try and get out of the route the Shkval would take, and thus “enagaged” the Memphis fired an Mk-48 at the Kursk. This torpedo struck the Kursk’s forward torpedo room detonating the magazine and ripping the Kursks front end apart. So the program suggests…
The program suggests the cancellation of a $10 billion debt by Clinton two weeks later and a new multi billion dollar low interest loan to Russia may have been an act of compensation. The program suggests that the reason why the Russians rejected help was:
· That if the US torpedoed it the West rescue might remove any evidence of this
· That a Shkval or related technology might have survived the incident and a West rescue might remove this
· That survivors (who survived for nearly three days in the aft compartment might have talked about the incident).
Wrong or right, fact or fiction, a really interesting program.
Have any other's heard anything about this or damage being repaired to the Toledo after mid August 2000?
Edited By Slats on 1127713063