Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oh, you beautiful DELTA of my youth ...

Here is a retro-Wednesday that has me going over my passive sonar equation, trying to remember how many teeth there were in the turbine of the DELTA III (Project 09786), working the CZ slide rule, working out F0, wondering what kind of propellers she had ... and ahhhh ... yes.

Look at her old, yet beautiful converted SSBN self. 

To many K-129, so some BS-136 - but to her friends, the ORENBERG. The old flirt, she seems to have popped her head up to say, "Hey there!"

Yngve Kristoffersen and Audun Tholfsen, two Norwegian researchers, were coming to the end of their day when they spotted something unusual on the water. 
"In the evening we spotted lights at a distance," the scientists recorded in their blog for October 16. 
"Turned out to be a submarine at the surface in position: 89° 17.5' N, 172° 42.9' W. We were not able to identify it." 

The men said that they approached the boat, but she sank back under the ice when they were within 100 metres of her.
How do you say, "Crap ... those aren't Polar Bears!" in Russian?
They did, however, obtain several photographs which show a distinctive profile, with the outline of the fin and bulbous bow pointing to her being a Russian nuclear submarine.

She has been potentially identified as the Delta class boat Orenburg.

If so, then the scientists met an old monster, a former ballistic missile bomber which displaces 13,700 tons when submerged, and was originally commissioned into the Northern Fleet in 1981.
Yep, that's her. Here is a shot of her pierside - they've taken away her classic DELTA hump;

The old girl has had an interesting post-Cold War life.

Man. I bet that CO is about my age, probably doing a bonus Command tour or perhaps the ORENBURG is considered a Major Command at Sea. I'd really love to share a bottle with that man and his XO to talk about, "back in the day." There is an old VICTOR III and TANGO cruise I would love to pick their brains about. If he was a JO on either, I could die right then a happy man.


Want to get underway on the ORENBURG? Me too ... believe it or not ... you can, in a fashion. Take some and enjoy the below video. I can almost smell that submarine funk through the screen. For a Russian ship, they seem to have taken good care of her considering her age.

Underway with wine, cigarettes and a cat. Sailors are Sailors, but in some ways - some still have a different kind of fun.

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