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calendar   Saturday - March 21, 2009

Your Tax Dollars At Work

I dunno ... maybe this is a good thing, maybe it isn’t. During the Cold War the Soviets spent all their money building weapons systems to kill us. And to kill Europe too. Now the CCCP is gone, the place is called Russia again, and they have no money. So what happens to all those h-bombs and stuff? They have to be destroyed. That’s a really big and careful job, and that means it’s an expensive job. So who pays for it? Who else? YOU DO.

The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has been around for a good many years now, and they have been quite successful ...


image



... at removing all those dusty old WMDs, missiles, ballistic missile submarines, nerve gas factories, and so forth. Good.



Not that it all goes 100% smoothly all the time. Little issues creep up once in a while, like the ship wreckers selling the scrap metal on the side

Submarine scrapper sued
Zvezdochka shipyard is accused of misusing income from selling scrap metal from decommissioned nuclear powered submarines. The lawsuit amounting to 169 million rubles (some EUR 4 million) is filed by Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, RIA Novosti reports.

Rosatom claims Zvezdockha shipyard in Severodvinsk have sold scrap metal from dismantled submarines and by that received additional income that should have been deposited in a special account and used for financing the dismantling program. The income in questions comes from scrap metal sales in 2007 and 2008. The date for the court hearings is not yet set.image

Zvezdockha shipyard has been dismantling retired nuclear powered submarines since the mid-90ties.

Norway paid for the scrapping of a Victor-II class nuclear powered submarine at Zvezdockha in 2003-04, as reported by BarentsObserver. According to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the total cost ceiling for the decommissioning of the submarine was EUR 5.2 million.

The dismantling of the Norwegian financed submarine was completed in April 2004. Which decommissioned submarine the scrap-metal Rosatom claims Zvezdockha sold without putting the money back into the decommissioning funds is not clear.

In the evaluation report about the decommissioning of the Victor-II class submarine at Zvezdochka, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes that the co-operation with the shipyard and the Russian authorities was satisfactory. The project was completed within the specified time frame and within the budget.

However, the ministry writes that there is still room for improvement as regards access to documentation and information. The documentation received for the purpose of review and assessment was relatively limited, and assessments and conclusions must be seen in this light, the ministry writes.

Most of the bigger submarines decommissioned at Zvezdockha, like the Yankee- Delta- and Typhoon-class are financed with money from the US Nun-Lugar funds.

Those crazy ex-commies. Always looking to make a buck on the side!


That is a Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine in the picture. You can tell that from the bulbous swelling at the base of the conning tower. No other submarine had that design. And yes, Soviet submarines had windows. But they never got the budget money for the screen doors. They spent it all on missiles instead. The Typhoon class sub was the biggest and baddest thing ever built, carrying 20 long range missiles each with 10 nuclear warheads. One sub, 200 nukes. The Soviets built all of 6 of these whoppers, and it appears that 3 of them have been sent to the bone yard already. And we paid for it ... seems like money well spent in my opinion.

Except it may just be a waste. ( I know! Who ever heard of government funding a wasteful and futile program? That never happens! ) It turns out that our new friends the Russians have a new missile submarine in the works. This is the Borei class boat, which is a little smaller. (just as long, just as fast, but thinner through the hips) It only carries 16 missiles, each with 10 nuclear warheads. That’s 40 less nukes, right? Wow, what a savings!! Except they plan on building 8 of these. 3 are nearly complete already, and they just laid the keel for the 4th.

Sevmash naval yard announces today that construction of yet another strategic submarine has started

March 19th is the official day of submariners in Russia. The day is marked with big festivities in the capital of submarine building, Severodvinsk on the banks of the White Sea in Northern Russia.
[In America, Submarine Day is April 11. Do something patriotic, like sinking a Somali pirate ship, as celebration!]
The Sevmash construction yard marks the submariners’ day by announcing that they have laid the keel for yet another strategic nuclear powered submarine of the Borey-class. The sub will be the number four of the class.

On Monday this week, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov informed that mooring trials of Russia’s first Borey-class strategic nuclear submarine Yury Dolgoruky has started, reported by BarentsObserver. The two other submarine of the Borey-class, Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are currently under construction at the Sevmash naval yard. The name of the fourth vessel is yet to be announced.

Russia is planning to build a total of eight submarines of this class by 2015, reports RIA Novosti.

The Borey-class submarine is 170 meters (580 feet) long, has a hull diameter of 13 meters (42 feet), a crew of 107, including 55 officers, maximum depth of 450 meters (about 1,500 feet) and a submerged speed of about 29 knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles and torpedoes.

Let’s do the math. (6 subs X 20 missiles X 10 warheads per missile = 1200 warheads) vs ( 8 subs x 16 missiles x 10 warheads = 1280 warheads). Huh, that doesn’t seem to add up to any advantage for us does it? And advanced as the Typhoon submarines were, the new Borei boats will have the benefit of 20 years worth of R&D and whatever their spies could steal in the interim.

This kind of seems like Macintosh paying Microsoft for the cost of developing the latest version of Windows.

UPDATE: Theo shows us exclusive spy photos of the new, post-recession Russian sub.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/21/2009 at 11:37 AM   
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