Since Bubblehead is having his tummy operated on today, here’s a story he’s been following that’s made it to the “Times Recommends” section online, “Silent killers were just too quiet, Submarines collided because they were undetectable to each other”:

The Times – French sub unaware it rammed Royal Navy vessel in mid-Atlantic nuclear crash

A Royal Navy source said that the chances of two submarines colliding in the mid-Atlantic were very small. He said that submarines used “water space management” to separate themselves both geographically and in depth from other vessels. “It is remarkably difficult to detect a modern submarine with sonar and we work very hard with our own submarines, as do our allies, in making them as quiet as possible so they are not detectable.”…

Vice-Admiral John McAnally, president of the Royal Naval Association, said that it was a “one in a million chance” that the two vessels collided. He said: “It would be very unusual on deterrent patrol to use active sonar because that would expose the submarine to detection.”

Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said that the crash showed the inherent danger of military operations. “For two submarines to collide, apparently unaware of each other’s presence, is extremely worrying. Hopefully, lessons have been learnt.”

Kate Hudson, from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: “This is a nuclear nightmare of the highest order. The collision of two submarines, both with nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons on board, could have released vast amounts of radiation and scattered scores of nuclear warheads across the seabed.”

I don’t know why I kept that last paragraph in, actually those two paragraphs (honestly, tories, really?). I think they may have amused me. Also amusing was Bubblehead’s line about a CNN story,

I love how it mentions that “Royal Navy Vanguard Class submarines are equipped with collision avoidance radar, according to the Royal Navy Web site“, as if the radar would have been any use in an underwater meeting between two submerged submarines.

Next I imagine somebody’s going to suggest that submarines be equipped to go “beeep beeep beeeeep” as they back up, or rise, or move forward, or go down, or do anything at all, since they insist on not using their radar to see each other.