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The Military Technology

Cold-War Era Naval Vessels Up For Grabs 165

Posted by kdawson
from the yours-for-a-dock dept.
mcleland lets us in on a Wall Street Journal story about two cold-war era, formerly top-secret vessels the US Navy is trying to give away. At issue are the Sea Shadow (the ancestor of all modern naval radar-evading technology) and the Hughes Mining Barge (a floating dry-dock and more-or-less base for the Sea Shadow). While the ships are being 'given away,' there are multiple regulations involved, making the gift a very costly one. "A Naval Museum is 'a bloodthirsty, paper-work ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole,' warns the Historic Naval Ships Association. Because the Navy won't pay for anything — not rust-scraping or curating — to keep museums afloat, survival depends on big crowds."
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Cold-War Era Naval Vessels Up For Grabs

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  • by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:07PM (#26975039) Homepage Journal

    A Naval Museum is 'a bloodthirsty, paper-work ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole,' warns the Historic Naval Ships Association.

    But tell us what you really think. Don't hold back.

    • ARR!!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:39PM (#26975407)
      That quote really sounds awesome if you say it with a pirate voice!
    • Sounds like somebody forgot to do some paperwork a while back....
    • Re:That bad, eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:07PM (#26975667) Homepage

      Dealing with the Navy on issues of museums is a bona fide pain in the ass. As far as they're concerned, there is nothing, zip, zero nada, nil that they have ever 'lost.' Whatever it was, where ever it is, it is still theirs and will gladly tie you up in court for the rest of your life to prove this point. They stick to the following excuses when it comes to the issue of recovering one-time Naval Aircraft:

      -It's a war grave (the excuse they've given for blocking the recovery of Grumman TBM Avenger dive bombers in Lake Michigan. That the pilots may have survived in most cases makes no difference. They're all war graves.)

      -It's still Navy property that they've never bothered to finish recovering (the excuse that's being used after a North Carolina man recovered pieces of an FG-1, a Goodyear-built Corsair. Never mind that the Navy last visited the crash site in 1945.)

      -It just plain doesn't exist at all (the excuse that was given for years when attempts were made to recover one of several B-29's that were being used as target practice at China Lake, even after recovery groups showed recent satellite photographs of B-29's out in the desert, the Navy simply responded by saying that they did not, nor did they ever, possess B-29's.)

      There is purportedly still one, more-intact-than-most-B-29's B-29 that was moved to a hangar sometime in the 1990's, but the Navy refuses all inquiries regarding that aircraft. To their credit, the Navy also had some bad experiences with allowing warbird recoveries at China lake, as the last group that was allowed in supposedly stuffed their B-29 full of whatever happened to be lying around, instead of just grabbing 'their' plane and leaving. There are a few hundred thousand versions of that story floating around, changing by the minute.

      The Navy is an institution unto themselves when it comes to loaning items to museums. Hell, They Scrapped the USS Enterprise [wikipedia.org]. Perhaps it's the type of person that the Navy assigns to handling museum requests, or perhaps its the hundreds of years of Maritime Salvage law that they have to contend with, but based on everything I've heard, they are a bureaucratic nightmare directly out of 'Brazil.'

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044)

        I have never heard of most of these stories. The Navy did allow the recovery of at least one F4F in the Great Lakes. They do protect war graves but that should be understandable.
        As far as dealing with museums and ships well think about it. Ships tend to be large complex steel machines that sit in saltwater. Just not a good mix. They often full of nasty chemicals and fuel. And some of them are very very large.
        The Navy give these multimillion dollar machines away making them safe and clean is up to the people

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          They do protect war graves but that should be understandable.

          Not when you're "protecting" those graves from the families of those KIA.

          Look it up if you don't believe me.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by LWATCDR (28044)

            What part of I have not heard of this did you not understand. I never said that it didn't happen. The simple rule is that it is war grave you don't mess with it. Did they tell the family that they couldn't try and recover the body or that they couldn't recover the TBM?
            Also the TBM has a crew of three. Did they get permission from all the families?
            Could it just be possible that they are trying to keep somebody's fourth cousin twice removed from making a fast buck by grave robbing?
            You make these claims and t

        • You're absolutely right on both points. But the Navy being open to any sort of museum request outside of their direct control seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LWATCDR (28044)

            Well that really depends on the ship. Even some pretty old ships have secrets even to this day. Others like the New Jersey class still might have military value. I would love to see more ships make it to museums. Way to many are just sunk. The original Enterprise and the Saratoga CV3 both should have been preserved. I would have loved to walk on their decks. Even now the US has sunk most of the Spruance class and gave the rest to allies. Ships are big and expensive to keep around the Navy doesn't want to p

            • Even some pretty old ships have secrets even to this day.

              Could it be mainly psychological value in protecting these "secrets"? As in "our technology is so freaking advanced that even 30 year old tech is still beyond our enemies".
              I'm just saying - there is some value in at least pretending there are secrets.

            • by Talderas (1212466)

              U-505 anyone?

      • ...they are a bureaucratic nightmare directly out of 'Brazil.'

        Yeah, but they got really snappy uniforms.
        That's why the USMC is so jealous of the Navy.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        -It's still Navy property that they've never bothered to finish recovering (the excuse that's being used after a North Carolina man recovered pieces of an FG-1, a Goodyear-built Corsair. Never mind that the Navy last visited the crash site in 1945.)

        I don't know for certain, but unlike regular seafaring vessels that sink (and thus become the property of whomever finds it), vessels owned by a country (e.g., military) remain the property of their respective governments. Even if you find some British sucken ves

        • by dwye (1127395)

          > And they retain that ownership indefinitely. So even if it turns into
          > a pile of rust, that pile of rust still belongs to the government.

          Or at least, so they will claim. And they normally have more lawyers, guns, and money than anyone disputing that. OTOH, I knew someone who spent time around WWII salvaging a German battleship, so they can be flexible about that (at least for other people's navies). Also, if true, no one could salvage wrecked Spanish gold ships in the Caribbean.

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        Dealing with the Navy on issues of museums is a bona fide pain in the ass.

        Hopefully they fair better than the air force which may at a later date, after the aircraft in question has been fully restored, decide they will steal it back despite contracts clearly stating the current owners. Case is going to before a judge last I heard.

        If poked, I imagine I can dig up a link.

        • Re:That bad, eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @07:50PM (#26977273) Homepage

          You're probably thinking of PIMA's B-36, which was never really in "private" hands. B-36's fall under one of the early SALT treaties as strategic heavy bombers. True, the Air Force handled the whole situation poorly, they will come out in the right, if the case actually goes to trial. Any "strategic" arms fall under a whole different set of guidelines, regardless of ownership.

          Case in point. There is (I am almost certain) only one B-52 on display at a non-military base in the world. There are others on static display, but only one in civilian hands. It also happens to belong to the museum I volunteer for. Several years after we acquired the aircraft, we moved it up on a concrete stand approximately 15 meters from where it once stood. ALL. HELL. BROKE. LOOSE. We received an unhappy visit from the Air Force, who had gotten a call from the state department, who'd gotten a call from the Russian Consulate, because the Russian air force team in charge of monitoring SALT compliance noticed that the plane had moved since the last photo pass and, since it was supposed to be de-miled, they damn sure wanted to know why.

          Interesting aside: The air force is in a unique spot when it comes to their old airframes that have been disposed of to civilian hands. A records fire in the 1960's destroyed the paperwork on hundreds of thousands of disposed aircraft. The Air Force has a very limited paper trail prove that they ever actually owned many Korea / WW2 vintage aircraft that they disposed of at auction. It usually falls to that old legal statute of "possession is 9/10ths of the law."

      • Here they are! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ukemike (956477) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @11:50PM (#26978743) Homepage
        The ship in question, and the floating dry in which it rests are here:
        http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=38.069464,-122.101327&spn=0.001824,0.003455&t=h&z=18 [google.com]

        The box at the Northwest end of the row, contains the Sea Shadow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Shadow [wikipedia.org]

        Interestingly the ship on the other end of the row is the USS Iowa, a WW2 and Korean War Battleship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Iowa_(BB-61) [wikipedia.org]
  • first post?

    Anyway, it's not "giving" it away, if they ask 25 million for it...

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:09PM (#26975077)

    ...hold out for an exhumer, man!

  • by drewzhrodague (606182) <<drew> <at> <zhrodague.net>> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:11PM (#26975093) Homepage Journal
    There are battleships for sale also. $15 jeeps, old broken trucks -- the government tries to sell whatever it can. I used to visit a computer junkyard, and they'd buy tractor-trailors full of decommissioned computing equipment. We got all kinds of neat toys from there, including some pretty standard usable stuff. What I want, is to buy the SS Consoleeza Rice [wikipedia.org], and park it in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch [wikipedia.org], and live there. However, anything that is large enough and floats should be okay.
  • Poor Howard Hughes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:11PM (#26975095)

    He really believed Nixon when he told him there was all that gold in the continental shelf.

    I keed I keed! To be fair, this wouldn't be the first time they've sold off K-129 salvage gear. The Glomar Explorer herself is leased out and operated for commercial deep-sea oil drilling.

    • by Talkischeap (306364) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @02:00AM (#26979351) Homepage

      "He really believed Nixon when he told him there was all that gold in the continental shelf."

      I don't recall anything about gold, but the "official" cover story for the Glomar Explorer was deep ocean mining, and they even made at least one test run.

      I still have a couple of deep sea photos showing the manganese nodules littering the ocean floor, and a small box of tennis ball sized manganese nodules recovered on that test run (they are soft like Ulexite/Borax, and turned my hands black when handled).

      My late father was a principle designer on the H-MB "mining barge", and "Clementine", the huge claw made to pick up the Russian Golf class sub.

      Every time our family drove past the H-MB on the 101 in Redwood City, he'd point it out to us, likely chuckling inside because if we only knew what it was really for ...

      After it was declassified, he eventually received a framed commendation from then President Regan, and a bronze medal.

      If you want some more history, try to read "A Matter of Risk", it was the first book published after the covert operation was declassified, my father said it was fairly close to actual events.

      Wow, guess it's out of print: http://www.amazon.com/Matter-Risk-Incredible-Explorer-Submarine/dp/0394424328 [amazon.com]

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:13PM (#26975117) Homepage

    Rough water stabilized, diesel electric propulsion and radar stealthy. Me likely. I want to live on it. Too bad it would probably cost a fortune to move and retrofit. The ultimate party boat, though it would be a little tough to fish off the back.

    And you could always fit it with missiles and have endless fun making the great navies of the world think they were shooting at one another.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Nos. (179609)

      And you could always fit it with missiles and have endless fun making the great navies of the world think they were shooting at one another.

      Be careful who you do that to, since the presumed guilty party might surrender, stopping the planned war. After being convicted of the crime, he could escape, return to his ship, hunt you down, and at the last minute find a way around your cloaking technology and blast you out of the sky, er, water. Oh yeah, and his personal physician will be with him.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HTH NE1 (675604)

      Rough water stabilized, diesel electric propulsion and radar stealthy. Me likely. I want to live on it. Too bad it would probably cost a fortune to move and retrofit. The ultimate party boat, though it would be a little tough to fish off the back.

      Who says you have to keep it in the water? I'd put it on land and park my car underneath it. Or maybe on a tower with an elevator inside to take you aboard, perhaps rigged to turn it to face any direction you wanted. Not that there'd be any kind of view from inside.

      Still, 12 bunks and only a small microwave, refrigerator, and table? Hopefully those bunks include restroom facilities.

  • Hmmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:19PM (#26975195) Journal
    What if I didn't put them as a Museum? Instead, I'll use them as part of my dastardly plot [wikipedia.org] to steal missiles from a British vessel lost in the South China Sea [wikipedia.org] due to tampering with the GPS signal. [slashdot.org] Then use those missiles to provoke a war between China and Great Britain.

    Do you think they will still let me have it?
    • Re:Hmmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by 0racle (667029) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:30PM (#26975301)
      Oh come on now, that idea is so stupid that no one would ever think it would be a good movie, let alone actually attempt it.
    • Re:Hmmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:36PM (#26975365)

      What if I didn't put them as a Museum? Instead, I'll use them as part of my dastardly plot to steal missiles from a British vessel lost in the South China Sea due to tampering with the GPS signal. Then use those missiles to provoke a war between China and Great Britain.

      Do you think they will still let me have it?

      It depends. You've already established that you have have a criminally-inclined genius and a ruthless, murderous streak. But more is required.

      1. Can your organization's name be turned into a suitably menacing acronym?
      2. Henchmen with unusual and remarkable deformities?
      3. Henchwomen with names both unlikely and sexually suggestive?
      4. Do you have a white persian cat?
      5. Do you enjoy monologuing?
      6. Can you credibly threaten the destruction of western civilization while maintaining a PG-13 rating?

      • 'jollyreaper', I think your bar is set too high for the /. geek.

        Hell, man, only Hollywood [shakened, not stirred] could meet your criteria!

        Oh, wait a minute.....[face>palm] D'oh!

        The hell with the sharks with frikkin' lasers!...bring on the fembots with machinegun jugglies!!!!

        *ring...ring*
        Gotta go find a Cone of Silence, my Shoe Phone is ringing...

        note to self: quit posting while drinking!...not as funny as you think...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      No good. Likely, some guy who looks like that guy from Remington Steele would stop you with the assistance of one or more lovely ladies and some high-tech wizardry, all-the-while drinking martinis.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Thelasko (1196535)

        No good. Likely, some guy who looks like that guy from Remington Steele would stop you with the assistance of one or more lovely ladies and some high-tech wizardry, all-the-while drinking martinis.

        There goes that idea... to the scrap yard with it then!

        • by rubycodez (864176)

          right, we should remember the most important rule about show business, "give the people what they want".

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hAckz0r (989977)
      I don't know if they would give it to you or not, but at only 12 mph it would be real hard to 'get away with it' unless you change the plot a little, like adding a worm hole or something. But if you were to take two of the Littoral Combat Ship's Rolls-Royce MT30 36MW gas turbines and retrofitted it with those then you would really be cooking!

      Just one problem. Where do all your scantly clad women go sunbathing on that thing? That's got to get real hot in the sun...

      • I don't know if they would give it to you or not, but at only 12 mph it would be real hard to 'get away with it' unless you change the plot a little, like adding a worm hole or something.

        What, something like a salvaged Cthonian relic that wants to wipe out the Deep Ones and their fish-people spawn and doesn't approve of insanity in its minions because it "makes their souls taste funny"?

      • by rts008 (812749)

        Just one problem. Where do all your scantly clad women go sunbathing on that thing? That's got to get real hot in the sun...

        Well, they can start with removing more clothes...

    • So, (Score:4, Funny)

      by nobodylocalhost (1343981) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:05PM (#26975651)

      The Chinese Federation is challenging our Holy Britannian Empire?

      Very well, The stake is the world, prepare for battle...

      All Hail Britannia!!

      • Yes, the sun never sets in/on the British Empire.{1} [forget which is correct:*/+....it's been so long ago...;-) ]

        Ah, yes...the Good Old Days! (new 'Battle Cry': Remember Hong Kong!![styled after 'Remember Pearl Harbor/the Alamo!' in the USA], and don't take no for an answer...be bold!), just remember Gunga Din [wikipedia.org].

        {1} Not meant to be inflammatory or disrespecting my British cousins in the least.(cousins==literally and figuratively:-))*

        *obligatory: [citation needed]:
        I do have a double chin, you insens

  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:39PM (#26975399)

    Step 1: Acquire free Naval floating base.
    Step 2: Fill said base with servers, generators and networking gear.
    step 3: Profit!

    Companies looking to build floating data centers could be the people to unload these things to. That or have your very own Sea World like base if you can anchor it in international waters. Properly cleaning them up would be the most cost prohibitive as I am sure they are filled with asbestos.

    • Re:Floating base! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:54PM (#26975541) Homepage Journal

      If all you need is a hull that floats, there are a lot cheaper ways of getting one than acquiring Navy hardware. Check out the standard crew complement of just about any naval vessel sometime and you'll come to understand that these are overly complicated beasts that are not designed for civilian use.

      (As an aside, a few non-superpowers tried to float aircraft carriers after WWII. They proved to be so expensive to operate, that most were decommissioned [wikipedia.org].)

      • Yes, carrier is a protoss only unit!

      • Spain did get a hand-me-down Aircraft carrier from the US after WWII-- the USS Cabot. Operated it from 1967 to 1989.

        Then some folks tried to set it up as a floating museum in America. It leaked a big slick of oil somewhere, and the coast guard charged the non-profit group $2 million for the cleanup. Not having the funds, they had to sell the Cabot in an auction for a winning bid of $187,000 as scrap. George Bush Sr. and some other ex-Navy big-wigs got involved and tried to purchase it at the Auction. No
    • by lelitsch (31136)

      step 4: add a wireless satellite uplink

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DeadDecoy (877617)
      You should talk to the guys over at The Pirate Bay. Not only would it be deliciously ironic, turning them into real sea-faring pirates, but the *IAA would go crazy trying to issue them region-relevant subpoenas wherever they go.
      • the *IAA would go crazy trying to issue them region-relevant subpoenas wherever they go

        No they wouldn't. The Pirate Bay's business is effectively non-regional. Which means that there is no difference between the servers sitting in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, or the high seas. The actual laws under which they are held responsible would generally be determined by their home port and/or under which flag they fly.

        (See: Flag of convenience [wikipedia.org])

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        You should talk to the guys over at The Pirate Bay. Not only would it be deliciously ironic, turning them into real sea-faring pirates, but the *IAA would go crazy trying to issue them region-relevant subpoenas wherever they go.

        Yeah, and maybe they could (stupidly) decide to operate off the shores of Somalia and get boarded so we could see a direct side-by-side comparison between "pirates" and honest-to-God-real pirates!

    • by mewsenews (251487)

      That or have your very own Sea World like base if you can anchor it in international waters.

      Sea World? Will Shamu be there?

    • Hardy, har har, it sounds like you want to start a Pirate Bay floating server.

  • Skunk Works (Score:3, Informative)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:49PM (#26975491)

    This boat is described in the book "Skink Works". The navy didn't want it because it didn't have a paint locker.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      "Skink Works"?

      There was a book about stealth projects developed at a facility named after a small ground-dwelling lizard? [howstuffworks.com]

      That's the Navy for you. At least the Air Force always went to the right place [wikipedia.org].

      (Yes, I know it was a typo. It's just a very funny typo.)

    • Re:Skunk Works (Score:5, Informative)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:32PM (#26976631) Homepage

      No, the Navy didn't want it because it was very expensive and of limited combat utility. It might have been of some use to a primarily coastal defense navy, but it's useless to a power projection navy like the USN.

      The paint locker story reflects Ben Rich's ignorance of the Navy and inability (or unwillingness) to listen to people other than himself. Had he asked, he'd have found that the paint locker is an important space on a warship - because the paint locker is where volatiles and flammables are stored. It has special ventilation and fire fighting provisions, something quite important on a ship that goes in harm's way.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The paint locker story reflects Ben Rich's ignorance of the Navy and inability (or unwillingness) to listen to people other than himself.

        I read Skunk Works.

        He said that no one in the Navy was very interested in the ship. He speculated that it was partially because the crew complement was too small; he said that in the Navy you get promoted for commanding lots of people. He used the paint locker story as an example of how Navy guys were focusing on petty details and not paying attention to the big picture:

        • Re:Skunk Works (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @01:41AM (#26979257) Homepage

          He said that no one in the Navy was very interested in the ship. He speculated that it was partially because the crew complement was too small; he said that in the Navy you get promoted for commanding lots of people. He used the paint locker story as an example of how Navy guys were focusing on petty details and not paying attention to the big picture: that this was a ship that could sneak up on a task force, wreak serious havoc, and slip away again unchallenged.

          Which, as I said, is indicative of Ben Rich's ignorance of the Navy - a paint locker isn't a petty detail. A paint locker is a matter of life or death if a Sea Shadow was ever damaged in combat. It's fine for Ben Rich to sit in his ivory tower and paint the big picture, but the Navy guys have to worry not only about the combat capability of the ship, but it's survivability in combat.
           
          Other accounts I've heard through the grapevine over the years tend to support my interpretation - Rich offered the design to the Navy, which built and evaluated it. The Navy found it had little combat capability and low combat survivability, and lost interest. Rich then got pissed be he saw the Navy as rejecting his wonder weapon.
           
           

          His conclusion was that he was better off dealing with the Air Force, because they actually were interested in advanced stealth technology.

          The Air Force is also filled with guys interested in high technology for high technologies sake. In the Navy you get promoted for commanding things, but with the high tooth-to-tail ratio of the Air Force you get promoted for being a brilliant manager - especially if you are the brilliant manager who brings home a new shiny. Heck, as long as you fight the good fight against the bureaucracy and Congress, you don't even have to actually bring it home.
           
           

          Is sneaking up on a superior force and blowing the heck out of it inconsistent with a power projection Navy? I'd like that one explained, too.

          The Navy already has entire service branch dedicated to exactly that task - the original stealth service. The Submarine Service.
           
          You also have to consider that a power projection Navy needs global range - something the Sea Shadow cannot do without requiring tremendous support while being less flexible than aircraft.

          The US Air Force has gotten good use out of stealth aircraft to blow up air defense systems before the non-stealth aircraft make their attacks; is there some reason this sort of thing doesn't work for the US Navy? Or do you just believe the ship doesn't work as advertised?

          The USN and USAF operate in completely different environments. The USN doesn't have to take out a missile battery to get at given tactical target - they have to take out entire ships. By the time Sea Shadow came on the scene, the USN had already worked out the combined arms tactics using aircraft and submarines in concert to defeat large enemy formations. The Sea Shadow didn't really bring anything useful to the picture.
           
          And no, it doesn't actually work as well as advertised. Something you won't find in Skunk Works and only rarely discussed in the open literature is this: Against any halfway decent ASW radar (the kind they use to spot periscopes), the Sea Shadow stands out like a sore thumb - while the ship itself is invisible, it's wake is highly visible. If the Sea Shadow slows down to avoid leaving a detectable wake, the defenders have won because a ship sitting virtually still isn't sneaking up on anyone. It's being left behind in their wake.

          • No mod points, but this is a high quality post that people should take note of. (Incidentally it is not only military craft where the paint locker is important. My flammables are kept in a steel structure with low level vents and with an expanse of deck between it and the cabin; not only can fumes not build up but an actual fire should not result in any serious damage. Fire is in fact a much bigger hazard on boats than sinking.)

            Your comment on ASW radar is spot on, but in fact it's even worse than that - re

      • Except that it wasn't built to go in harm's way, it was built as a proof-of-concept test vessel. Personally, I suspect his theory about the Navy losing interest due to prestige/promotion opportunities was quite possibly accurate. It's very hard to imagine the Navy ditching the traditional surface fleet configuration in favor of ugly, stealthy missile boats with tiny crews.
  • What are the regulations in Sweden?

    • by Spatial (1235392)
      Good idea. Let's download some battleships, we can join all our 3D printers together to make it. :)

      The USS Slashdot, a thermoplastic battleship where officers can't speak and the ranks are randomly assigned each day. Sounds good to me!
  • The jennifer morgue (Score:2, Informative)

    by lessthan (977374)
    What is really weird is that I'm reading the Jennifer Morgue [amazon.com] right now. The book starts with the operations.
  • by Rick Zeman (15628) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:02PM (#26975617)

    TANSTAAFS. :-)

  • I called it. It's going in my backyard.
  • by ipc0nfig (1486043) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:14PM (#26975729)
    From the webpage: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2006/09/fr091406.html [fas.org] Other ships that are currently available for donation include: (1) Patrol Combat ex-CANON (PG 90), Philadelphia, PA. (2) Guided Missile Destroyer ex-CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG 2), Philadelphia, PA. (3) Destroyer ex-CONOLLY (DD 979), Philadelphia, PA. (4) Destroyer ex-EDSON (DD 946), Philadelphia, PA. (5) Submarine ex-TROUT (SS 566), Philadelphia, PA. (6) Guided Missile Cruiser ex-TICONDEROGA (CG 47), Philadelphia, PA. (7) Aircraft Carrier ex-RANGER (CV 61),Bremerton, WA.
  • Pass on this one... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:39PM (#26975973) Homepage Journal

    I asked my brother in-law AND my ex-brother-in-law, who both work for Bath Iron works.

    You don't want this boat. Even for free.

    One of them mentioned some ancient wisdom about being given boats for free...

  • to keep museums afloat, survival depends on big crowds

    Why just make it a museum? I'm not familiar with navy tech, but I'd bet you could fix it up and turn it into some sort of roving marine research center or an interesting themed-cruise liner for the fairly-rich.

    For the research center, with a floating dry dock you could probably modify it to also hold an unmanned underwater vessel.

    For the cruise liner, you have something along the murder-mystery parties, but now it's a spy-theme. Everyone pays $X,000, a

    • by westlake (615356)
      For the cruise liner, you have something along the murder-mystery parties, but now it's a spy-theme

      The cost of bringing the aging QE2 into compliance with future safety standards sent the liner into premature retirement as a dockside hotel. There are, inevitably, with a military vessel the questions of fuel consumption, manning requirements and so on, endlessly.

  • Forget a naval museum.

    1. Anchor the barge out in international waters.
    2. Put a fancy hotel on barge
    3. Claim independence as your own nation
    4. legalize gambling, marijuana, and hashish
    5. ferry people to it in the ship
    6. wait for some pirates or a prudish navy to attack
    7. ???
    8. profit!

    The ??? in this case has something to do with fending off the invasion claiming you're not a legitimate nation, but it's still a ??? because I have no idea how you're going to do that indefinitely.

  • Sea Shadow was (Score:3, Informative)

    by Brain_Recall (868040) <brain_recall.yahoo@com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @08:15PM (#26977499)
    From what I remember, the Sea Shadow was actually mostly a failure, in terms of radar signature. Sure, it was damn stealthy. In fact, too stealthy. Water naturally reflects radar, so when they took Sea Shadow out, all they had to do was look for the hole where they weren't getting any reflection. :-/

    In other ways it was a success. It did have a very low noise signature. The hull design did help it greatly reduce the ships wake, keeping it from turning up too much water.

  • This should be of interest to 'The Pirate Bay' as a 'pirate/underground' server setup.

    1. It has stealth tech
    2. It has it's own service barge..that's submersible!
    3. It can take up station out of [insert country/nation here]'s jurisdiction in International Waters[tm]
    4. It is cool

    *ignore the downsides to this idea(especially 3.- connectivity could be a nightmare!)-it's a joke!*

  • I'll bet this [google.com] is how the aliens see it.

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