New ASW Weapon: Steel Eating Microbes

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.

The leak was discovered by divers during a routine check of the Polaris submarine‘s outer hull at the privately-owned dockyard.

Resolution, along with the other subs, is under attack from a common microbiological organism that emits sulphuric acid.

The organism has affected the North Sea oil industry for years, and was first found at Rosyth in 2008, when it holed HMS Revenge.

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.

More on Resolution Class here.  HMS Revenge here.  Polaris missile system here.

Nice roundup on this project here.

HMS Resolution at Sea

9 Responses to “New ASW Weapon: Steel Eating Microbes”

  1. 1 ewok40k
    July 28, 2010 at 21:31

    I dont know for sure about OPFOR, but I bet someone in the RAND is trying to compile a genome of that bacteria for research into faster breeding and more corrosive species…
    Just had a vision of this supercorroder getting loose and sending the world to the stone age (literally)

  2. 3 SCOTT the BADGER
    July 29, 2010 at 19:29

    Last week on America’s oddest radio program, COAST to COAST AM, a paranoin chappie, ( a very common guest on that show ), was claiming that ” Big Salmon Fishing ” had genetically modified Pacific salmon with genes from Atlantic salmon, to make them grow faster. The guest said that this could make the salmon grow perhaps to 12 feet. He was worried about these genetically modified fish escaping the encolures, and taking over, in the wild.

    While my personal belief is that he came across a reference to the size not of salmon, but of the Salmon Shark, the Pacific species of the Porbeagle. A large female Salmon Shark CAN get to be 12 feet. Still, I must admit the idea of the look on a fish slapping Bear, when a 12 foot Chinook leaps out of the water at him amuses me.

    • July 30, 2010 at 00:47

      Bwahahaha….. the problem with those conspiracy folks is they have just enough information, usually out of context, to create a whole web of bizzare stuff.

      To my mind, you gotta think that the REAL shock is on the face of the salmon when it leaps out of the water and finds a bear waiting for it!

  3. 5 defendUSA
    July 30, 2010 at 00:06

    Hey AW Tim
    Saw your post over at Rajiv’s House…I am with you a 100% on the brotherhood, trust, friendship of our military days. Nothing like it in the whole world. I have missed it since I got out. And when the guys, gals get to it, we have a ball. Hopefully your son will have the same experiences and make friends for a lifetime.

  4. 7 ewok40k
    July 30, 2010 at 05:11

    12 feet salmon? Bring them on.
    Signed: Kodiak bears fishing association…

  5. September 9, 2010 at 04:25

    nice post…thx for sharing with us

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