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26 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008
marina Continued from page 25 That she can boast is largely Spooling out 2,500 metres it’s brought back on to its giant pinging, but there’s nothing they Waiting for Somerset in Trieste
down to the low-frequency Sonar of array is “extremely boring” storage drum. can do about it because we’re were: one barge, one huge cotton
N
ot all the task group’s
time is devoted to
2087, designed to cope with Bagsy sighs. Thankfully, lowering The fi rst section of the sonar is too far away,” says Somerset’s reel and one huge cotton reel with
Active Endeavour,
the threat of today’s ultra-quiet Thunderbird 4 is “more interesting a rope ‘tail’ which effectively acts Weapon Engineer Offi cer Lt Cdr 100 metres of active listening O
boats. to watch” as the gizmo slides as ballast. The next 100 metres David Lewis, rubbing his hands array wrapped around it. to,
however. There are
2087 comprises ‘Thunderbird backwards off the ship and is is the really clever bit, the ‘active with malevolent amusement. The faulty array was wound thi
some pretty hefty exercises
4’, a bright yellow towed body lowered into the water. listener’, a 450kg black rubber “Hee hee.” on to the empty reel… and the ow
to take part in too. Super
weighted down several hundred As for the array, it is fed tube containing state-of-the-art He adds: “It looks a bit Heath replacement was unwound off ca
Somerset has already hunted
feet below Somerset, and 2,500 slowly out through a pipe, salt hydrophones and sensors which Robinson, but it’s an awesome the second drum and attached res
submarines during Noble
metres (1½ miles) of towed array, water spilling on to the deck as listen for a response from the bit of kit.” to the remainder of Somerset’s
Manta off Sicily and Mavi
wound on a huge drum in the it lubricates the tubed wizardry ping (a strange whistling sound) It is. Experimental too (it’s not passive array. wr
Balina off Turkey.
winch well just forward of the being lowered into the ocean (it’s emitted by Thunderbird 4. yet offi cially operational). And It took a fair bit of sweat and ca
She’s about to do the same
quarterdeck. washed with fresh water on its The rest of the array is devoted temperamental. tears from the weapon engineer po
again off the heel of Italy.
From a small control room return journey). to the passive listener, whose Last month we reported how department, a few sketches to wi
Good job she’s got some
overlooking both deck and well, It takes 45 minutes to an hour ears are on the ‘lookout’ for any the 2087 towed array needed explain to the Italian dockyard
top kit, then. Evening pipes CPO ‘Bagsy’ Baker controls both to deploy, and every bit as long submarine making a noise. replacing. All 2,500 metres of it. workers what was going on, as
sign off proclaiming Somerset array and body initially (before to recover; the latter operation “We can see submarines before Well, the good news is that not and about fi ve earth hours to the
as the best anti-submarine handing over to the sonar centre demands constant watch, for they can see us. Of course, they all 2,500 metres needed replacing. complete the job (not the three a v
warrior in the West. in the operations room). the array can become twisted as know we’re there because we’re Just the active listener bit. days predicted). ex
0025-028_NN_Jun.indd 225-028_NN_Jun.indd 2 116/5/08 16:09:506/5/08 16:09:50
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