Funny, Not Funny: India Submarine Submerges With Door Open!
Hey India! I have this sensor on my garage door that is connected to an app on my phone that tells me if the door is left open. Technology today is amazing! I can get you the number if you need it. Because apparently nobody is paying any attention to something as important as closing the doors on your submarine before you dive down with many souls on board!
The good news is nobody was hurt in what could have been a fatal mishap. The bad news is nobody noticed the open hatch and the damage was extensive and very costly. This particular Indian submarine is a rare nuclear ballistic submarine. India is one of only six countries to even have one. It came at a cost of $2.9 billion and I am willing to guess a whole lot of very smart people worked on creating it. Though I have heard some of the smartest people are the ones lacking the most in common sense!
“Here’s a tip: Submarines are supposed to run underwater. They are not, however, designed to be filled with water.
India’s navy learned that lesson the hard way after an embarrassing mistake with their flagship nuclear submarine left it crippled and out of operation.
According to The Hindu, the vessel INS Arihant is the first nuclear-powered sub built by India, and was intended to be a linchpin in the nation’s defense plans. However, the craft has not sailed for over 10 months after “human error” caused a port in the hull to stay open and water to pour in.“Arihant’s propulsion compartment was damaged after water entered it,” the Indian newspaper reported.
“A naval source said water rushed in as a hatch on the rear side was left open by mistake while it was at harbour. Since the accident, the submarine, built under the Advanced Technology Vessel project (ATV), has been undergoing repairs and clean up,” The Hindu continued.
The problem isn’t just the seawater that rushed in, but also sensitive pipes within the submarine that were damaged by the salt-heavy sea.
“Indian authorities likely felt that pipes exposed to corrosive seawater couldn’t be trusted again, particularly pipes that carry pressurized water coolant to and from the ship’s 83 megawatt nuclear reactor,” Popular Mechanics explained.“Failing pipes could not only endanger the ship’s crew but the entire submarine… and her nuclear weapons,” the technology magazine elaborated.
To call it an expensive mistake would be putting it mildly.
“India’s first ballistic missile submarine is the result of a $2.9 billion submarine technology program. Construction on Arihant began in 2009, and the ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy seven years later in October 2016,” said Popular Mechanics.
The U.S. magazine posed a question that must be at the top of the Indian admiralty’s minds.
“How in the world could a $2.9 billion submarine be sidelined by a simple mistake? Not leaving hatches open that could potentially sink a ship, particularly a submarine, is basic common sense.”“Why were the propulsion section and nuclear reactor on the 364-foot long submarine unattended so the flooding went unnoticed as long as it did?” the magazine wondered.
The accident is particularly embarrassing considering how rare and prestigious a working nuclear submarine program is in the world. There are only six nations with ballistic nuclear submarines: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, and of course the good ol’ U.S. of A.
It just goes to show how vital it is to cover the basics, no matter how “advanced” the piece of military hardware. That’s an important reminder for America as well, and our Navy would be wise to learn from other people’s mistakes.”
Fortunately no one was injured or killed in this military mishap. That usually is not the case with blunders this big. This is serious business and for such a common sense oversight to be made makes you wonder what else could happen on a nuclear submarine. Of course, our own country has had its share of military mistakes each year.
I guess everyone makes mistakes, some just a lot more costly than others! I am guessing the person responsible for closing that hatch is peeling potatoes these days instead of performing safety checks!