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Here's your chance to clamber around a Typhoon Sub

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I thought many of you would enjoy this opportunity to look around the inside of one of the old SU's Typhoon-class SSBN's.

The amount of corrosion present is frightening, but then it appears that they know nothing of the art of mothballing vessels over there...or they do, but no one cares to manage the process, or to at least maintain them in inactive status; one has to presume they've been written off.



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Don't know when it was laid up, but I know that a properly mothballed warship need not look like that.

In the 1970's I was given a tour of the USS Bunker Hill, a WW2 Essex-class carrier taken out of mothballs prior to scrapping so the antenna array for the CVN Nimitz could be tested out on her. She was barely opened up when I came aboard. The desiccants, cocooning and air conditioning had kept her in beautiful internal condition. Plans of the Day dated 1945 were still on various work surfaces, paper still crisp and workable. Exposed metal surfaces were free of corrosion. Even gun sights were clear and free of fogging.

If I were an admiral responsible for the laying up of an extremely costly and dangerous national asset like these SSBN's, I'd for sure have made certain that they would have been maintained in top-notch condition and ready to go to sea again with darn little preparation.

However, Russians (and their military) are justly famous and even proud of their "If it isn't my problem, it's your problem" ethos.)

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Yes, very cool link. Damn that is a big boat. It looks a little scruffy up top but down below it looks pretty shipshape. The Russkies definitely have a more old-fashioned style for their technical equipment don't they, compared to the Yanks? I remember seeing inside a Soyuz capsule - looked like a steam locomotive cabin!

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It certainly is big. Recall that it has two interconnected pressure hulls, side by side, with a smaller third pressure hull on top and between the two, for the conning tower - not too small, mind you.

I don't know if you noticed the one photo showed its tiled compact swimming pool?

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Great shots--the kinds of things spies died to get during the Cold War! NatGeo did a program on dismantling a Typhoon. No doubt combining the imagery from both would be enormously useful from an S&T perspective. The diorama needs work! From an entertainment standpoint, a novelist named Robin white, who had/has access to both ex-Soviet and American submariners has written several good novels: NORTHERN LIGHTS and TYPHOON are two I've read, both of which feature the typhoon doing interesting things, though I have some gripes with the way weaponry works in the former.


John Kettler

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