Strategy Page (US): "The Royal Navy And The Mystery Rudder Disease"

January 10, 2013: The British Royal Navy is embarrassed that one of its four SSBNs (ballistic missile submarines) suffered a rudder failure after test firing a SLBM (sea launched ballistic missile) off North America (Florida) last October. The sub (the HMS Vanguard) has just undergone a midlife refurbishment that cost over half a billion dollars. After the rudder problem was discovered the Vanguard entered an American shipyard in nearby Georgia for repairs. The Royal Navy has not revealed details of how a sub fresh out of a three year refurbishment could suffer a rudder failure four months later. This is not the first such embarrassment for the Vanguard. The rudder problem comes years after the sub collided with a French SSBN while submerged in the mid-Atlantic. The damage to both boats was superficial, but it was embarrassing how two SSBNs could have bumped into each other in the middle of an ocean.
Thanks for posting that link soleil. I'm just stunned that I don't appear to have seen either of those incidents reported in our press, or have I just missed them?

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Having helped bring a couple of ships out of refit, if a rudder failure is all that has happened during the trials period then they're lucky. Ships and Submarines are designed to be run, not left in a dock for 3 years "looked after" by Babcock.
Helicopters, armoured vehicles and motor bikes have similar problems (although not with rudders) in my experience. I'm still surprised that it doesn't appear to have made the media here though. Ditto two nuclear armed and powered submarines crashing into each other. I'd have thought that elements of the press would have loved that.

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