The 9pm Underwater Doomsday Conversation with H I Sutton

Defence analyst H I Sutton and one of his submarine illustrations. (Photo: Supplied)

Finally, it’s time to talk about submarines. The spring series of The 9pm Edict continues with a conversation about what submarines in the 21st century can and can’t do with defence analyst and illustrator H I Sutton of Covert Shores.

Before we can answer questions about whether Australia “really needs” nuclear submarines, we need to step back a bit. So in this episode we compare nuclear subs with conventional boats, and we talk about underwater drones, Russia’s intercontinental nuclear torpedo, Operation Ivy Bells, American submarine NR-1, air-independent power, and much more.

Needless to say, we mention some films: Das Boot, The Hunt for Red October, Fail-Safe, and The World is Not Enough.

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Episode Links

  • Fiber tapping uses a network tap method that extracts signal from an optical fiber without breaking the connection. Tapping of optical fiber allows diverting some of the signal being transmitted in the core of the fiber into another fiber or a detector. Fiber to the home (FTTH) systems use beam splitters to allow many users to share one backbone fiber connecting to a central office, cutting the cost of each connection to the home. Test equipment can simply put a bend in the fiber and extract sufficient light to identify a fiber or determine if a signal is present.
  • The 2022 Nord Stream gas leaks were a series of explosions and subsequent underwater gas leaks that occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines on 26 September 2022... The leaks happened as the Baltic Pipe was being opened for natural gas to come in from the North Sea through Denmark to Poland and are believed to have been caused by intentional sabotage; however, the perpetrators' identities and the motives behind such intentional sabotage remain debated.
  • Project 210, Project 10831 or AS-31 (Russian: ??-31), nicknamed Losharik (Russian: ???????, IPA: [l???ar??k]), is a Russian deep-diving nuclear powered submarine.
  • [18 July 2021] Few other submarines are the subject of so much speculation and interest as the elusive and Top Secret Losharik (AS-31, sometimes referred to by her previous number AS-12) deep-diving special missions / engineering boat ('deep nuclear station (AGS)', read 'spy sub'). She is operated by the Russian Navy on behalf of GUGI (Main Directorate Deep Sea Research). On 1st July 2019 a fire occurred in which 14 of the crew died. RIP.
  • USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is the third and final Seawolf-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine in the United States Navy. Commissioned in 2005, she is named for the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, the only president to have qualified on submarines... During modification, her hull was extended 100 feet (30 m) to create a 2,500-ton supplementary middle section which forms a Multi-Mission Platform (MMP). This section is fitted with an ocean interface for divers, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and special operation equipment; ROV handling system, storage, and deployment space for mission systems, and a pressure-resistant passage between the fore and aft parts of the submarine to accommodate the boat's crew.
  • USS Dallas (SSN-700) is a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine of the United States Navy... Dallas has had a removable Dry Deck Shelter for over a decade. This large chamber, fitted aft of the sail, has an array of air, water and hydraulic systems that allow Dallas to employ the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle, a highly mobile and virtually undetectable means of carrying out special forces missions.
  • [4 October 2021] Technologies could render the ocean transparent by the time Australia’s new submarines are ready, some experts say.
  • The Poseidon (Russian: ????????, "Poseidon", NATO reporting name Kanyon), previously known by Russian codename Status-6 (Russian: ??????-6), is an autonomous, nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle under development by Rubin Design Bureau, capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear warheads.
  • Fail Safe is a 1964 Cold War thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The film follows a crisis caused by a critical error that sends a group of U.S. bombers to destroy Moscow, and the ensuing attempts to stop the bomber group before it can deploy a nuclear first strike.
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known simply as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States.

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