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Submarine USS Montpelier and Cruiser USS San Jacinto Collision | Photos

The U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765) and Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) collided Saturday Oct. 13, 2012 at approximately 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight time during a training exercise.

The Navy says no personnel aboard either vessel were injured and that damage to both ships is being assessed, but that Montpelier’s nuclear plant was unaffected by the collision. Montpelier’s vertical rudder isn’t apparent in released photos, suggesting that it was either carried away by the collision or is beneath the surface due to flooding, as the submarine seems to be down by the stern.

Navy press and photo releases stress that both ships are currently operating under their own power.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-57006">

    Please advise how a modern day submarine collides with a modern day cruiser given
    all the navigation electronics and personnel on deck ?

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-chuck-oldham bypostauthor odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-57012">

    That’s the 64,000 dollar question, Ralph. In certain operational situations, in certain environments, submarines can be subject to some fairly serious constraints on situational awareness. The Navy states that the vessels were participating in a group sail, which suggests they might have been maneuvering very closely to each other, where the potential for collision is always multiplied, and regardless of electronics and watchstanders, thousands of tons of displacement don’t necessarily want to respond immediately to helm orders. No word yet on who did what to whom, so it would be idle speculation at this point.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-57077">

    First of all, navigation electronics have little to do with a submarines ability to locate and track surface contacts. The fire control systems on todays submarines are very complex and accurate, for the most part. However, they are still operated by humans. The old saying, “garbage in = garbage” out still holds true today for contact management (or contact avoidance, on a submarine). The bottom line is this: submariners are some of the best trained as well as equipped operators in the military. But people still make mistakes. The human factor will always be there, no matter what mitigating factors you put into place. Oh, and a by the way… a submerged submarine has no “personnel on deck”. That would be most unfortunate…

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-59128">

    Hopefully, the reason that the Cruiser didn’t detect the sub, is the fact that the modern submarine’s stealth ability is good enough to hide,even from our own modern U.S. Navy vessels. Hopefully!