Just when you thought things couldn’t get more interesting, it seems that our friends the Brits are battling steel-eating microbes. Two Polaris Submarines, both deactivated and in floating storage, were found to develop lists after microbes bored holes through their outer skins and allowed seawater to leak into ballast tanks.
From The Courier:
HMS Resolution, one of seven old subs at the Fife yard, was found to be listing after water got into one of its ballast tanks.
Resolution, along with the other subs, is under attack from a common microbiological organism that emits sulphuric acid.
Revenge, which has been held in floating storage at Rosyth for about 20 years, began listing to starboard, just like Resolution.
Divers discovered three holes in Revenge’s outer skin.
Seawater was getting into one of its external ballast tanks, but had not penetrated the pressure hull, and the holes were immediately plugged.
At that time, the Ministry of Defence said it would take each sub out of the water in turn and coat it with a protective paint.
Read the rest here.
Well now, isn’t that special…….. Anyone here willing to consider whether our old adversaries (or new ones, or perhaps even us) are seeing how they can leverage and exploit this new threat? Seems to me an ideal situation would be to develop a fast-breeding colony of these microbes and let them lose wherever submarines are tied up, or especially undergoing repairs. It would force the local command to add daily water-testing for microbes throughout it’s entire area of command, and plan for and develop a response to any detection of such a threat.
Regardless, it just goes to show how things can change, and seriously out of the box threats can materialize and force you to respond.
Nice roundup on this project here.