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Topic review - Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans
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  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
All of my comments are for final configurations (except where noted). As a boat ages, there are always sonar upgrades and other short-term test modifications installed, so there is no way to definitively define a ship's configuration except by year/period.

Common sonar errata that has been repeated endlessly until it's taken as fact: Trident submarines are often cited as having a BQS-15. There were BQS-15 components installed, (High Frequency sail-mounted projectors, the rotating receiver pedestal mounted above them, and the HF processors - basically the whole front end) but the back end of the system was pure IBM-built Q-6. IBM built the majority of the system in Manassas, VA. (not Oswego, where sub-system components were procured.) They sold their stake in the sonar system business to Lockheed/Martin after the SUBACS/BSY-1 fiasco occurred. IBM built very good systems with the best documentation I have ever read. There were 84 volumes of tech manuals for the Q-6 alone!

Other common mistakes for sonars installed on Tridents:

The BQR-19, (a mast-mounted array that was raised above the thermal layer while proceeding to periscope depth, installed on the original boomers) was never installed. Didn't need it with the spherical Q-6. The BQR-19 was never a navigation system as its often described. (24 staves of hydrophones in a tiny array on top of the mast.) It was purely dedicated for collision avoidance, and had super-short range with a very narrow receiver bandwidth. The BQR-19 used a BTR (Bearing Time Recorder) display. There was a remote BTR on the conn as well that the other sonars (BQR-2/7) could feed. It was the best BTR made until the PDRs (Precision Data Recorders) were furnished with the Q-6 and 6. I had a buddy who was the Sonar Supervisor on the 598 when they sank a Japanese freighter on their way to PD. He saw the BQR-19 flashing Alert light (that gave a semblance of fair warning until the BTR could trace enough lines to indicate target bearing) which triggered when it detected a high broadband noise level. According to standard protocol, he instantly alerted the OOD that there was a close-aboard contact and he should abort the depth excursion. The OOD blew him off and the rest is history. The OOD and CO lost their careers; the sonar sup was unscathed. (Everything we said in sonar was recorded, as well as the primary passive sonar on our dual-channel, dual-deck UNQ-7s.

The BQR-23/25: Another towed array and processing system installed on old boomers that wasn't ever installed on Tridents. The same goes for the 60's BQS-13 Fire Control System components - again, it had it's own purpose-built FCS using 688-class components.

This is probably the most accurate unclassified as-built Trident sonar info ever published, so you saw it here first:

The BQQ-6 configuration was composed of letter-designated groups:

Group A: Detection and Tracking (Passive-only neutered Q-5 with BQS-15 components, and a pair of TB-16 "Fat Line" towed arrays.)
Group B: Acoustic Communication (AN/WQC-5 Underwater telephone)
Group C: Depth/Sound-Speed (AN/BHQ-1)
Group D: Emergency Acoustic Comms (AN/BQC-1) Located near each escape trunk to communicate with rescue vessels.
Group E: Distress Beacons (AN/BQN-1) Located near each escape trunk for rescue vessels to localize a downed boat's position.
Group F: Depth Sounding (AN/UQN-1) - Standard Navy fathometer
Group G: Bathythermograph (Standard BQH-7 expendable SSXBT system, launched from the aft signal ejector)
Group H: Recorder-Reproducer (Dual-deck AN/UN-7E - just like the Nautilus)

In the mid-80's, the Rockwell-built AN/BQQ-9 system was installed on all boats after the Georgia (at EB) and the first four boats were back-fitted by Trident Refit Facility's sonar shop over three, twenty-four day refit periods. The Q-9 used the 1" diameter Thinline Towed Array (TLTA) installed on a handling system in the superstructure behind the missile tubes. Initially, this was deployed on the surface manually, but proved to be too dangerous and the system was subsequently upgraded with a handling system that was operated inboard. One original TB-16 (called the Fatline Array after that) was retained. Both tow cable reels were housed just forward of the Sonar Control room (a pair of OK-742 Handling Systems.)

The picture of the 50' section (we all knew it was longer, but that's what we called it) is the only known shot of the MINSY conversion that I know of online. The vertical plates that cover the underbody served two purposes - they kept it level, preventing it from rolling over as it was slid into place and concealment. They were subsequently removed for hydrodynamic streamlining, (contributing to overall quietness and less drag) and a curtain was used when in drydock for concealment as noted above. Note the watertight door in Frame 27 leading from the front of the Crew's Mess. Above it hung the sign attached below. . . Inport, there was an expanded metal mesh door with a six-button cipher lock and a curtain positioned in the passageway to that watertight door. It was removed when underway.

Sorry to get off-topic in a Nautilus-related thread. . .

CCC


Attachments:
Frame 27 Sign.jpg
Frame 27 Sign.jpg [ 275.5 KiB | Viewed 154 times ]
Post Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:00 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Hi CCC,

Good points. I think our disagreements about the sonar installed are mostly due to what the Nautilus was launched with vs. what she ended her career with. I'm still quite sure the BQR-4 was installed below the torpedo tubes though. I have found a lot of good information in Norman Friedman's U.S. Submarines since 1945. Unfortunately, the National Archives has little available information on sonars other than the BQR-2, BQS-4, and BQR-4. I believe a lot of information even on obsolete systems is still classified.

I hope we will eventually see some details on the special projects boats. The only glimpses I've seen are a Piping TAB of the Halibut (when she had the hangar thruster and aquarium; before the skegs) and this photo of the Seawolf showing the unusual shape of the added hull section:
http://navsource.org/archives/08/575/0857516s.jpg

Jacob
Post Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:16 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Jacob,

Unless you were a Submarine Sonar Technician, don't believe everything you read online; the majority of the information is inaccurate or just plain false (fas.org and Janes --especially where sonar suites are concerned). The same holds true of the wacky, wonderful world of CNO Special Projects platforms. I was fortunate to be involved with both of these subjects, so I speak from (decades of) experience. I guess that makes me a living fossil. . . or a witness to history - which sounds a lot more palatable. For authoritative sources, Polmar is hard to beat. I've seen him make very few errors where sonar is concerned. Submarine sonar is a tough subject to get right, owing to many systems spread over many classes of boats, and scarce documentation in the unclassified realm.

Moving on, the BQR-2 used a circular array of hydrophone in 48 staves. There was an experiment to mount an array on the back of a submarine sail with mixed results due to high flow noise. The BQR-2 and BQR-7 were the primary passive submarine sonars throughout the late 50' to early 70's for a number of boat classes - the "S" girls that followed the Seawolf, and all of the 41 boomers until back-fitted with the BQR-21 (with the exception noted above). As a circular array it was always mounted low - inside a chin mount on boats that had them, and below the torpedo tubes on boats that didn't. The BQR-4 (and BQR-7) were conformal arrays. That is, they conformed to the shape of the hull, and were placed higher (basically U-shaped, so the baffle areas were large.)

The BQS-4 I pointed out above, (as opposed to the SQS-4 you mentioned) was the primary active search sonar when the Nautilus was decommissioned. And that IS the BQS-4 console in the photo - I sat in front of one longer than I care to admit, hoping to see something. (I rarely ever did.)

The ultimate forward arrays were Spherical, (AN/BQQ-2 sonar suite in the 60's, followed by the BQQ-5 in the 70's and BQQ-6 in the 80s.) These allowed for D/E (depression elevation) determination (up/down) so a target signal could be detected using it's bottom bounce angle. (You can do a lot with that kind of acoustic information.)

Towed arrays were a major game-changer and have evolved continuously since the BQR-15.

And you are correct - the BQR-3 was installed topside on the Nautilus/Seawolf in the early days. The Wolf did a lot of experimental testing in the 60's. (See the attached pic.) The Parche didn't carry the BQR-2, but had a BQR-21 topside/aft, as I mentioned. She left service with a BQQ-5 suite, which replaced her obsolete BQQ-2 system. The Q-5 was an awesome system. The Q-6 integrated every sonar, (Underwater Telephone/ Acoustic Emission Intercept / Bathythermograph and Towed Arrays) in a common system to a greater degree, but did not have transducers in the spherical array, just hydrophones. (Boomers aren't in the business of pinging.) The Q-6 sensor integration experience was highly useful for the systems that followed.

There has NEVER been an accurate model of the Seawolf portrayed anywhere in her Projects configuration that is accurate beneath the waterline. In drydock, a curtain that conformed to the hull was lowered as the drydock was emptied, protecting her modesty. An armed guard (MINSY PD) was posted outside the underbody curtain. Even they weren't cleared to look behind the curtain. Anything you see online or read in a book is pure speculation, fantasy or garden-variety BS. The same rings true for other projects boats. As long as inaccurate info is available, the truth will always remain protected. As it should be.

If the Navy ever declassifies the physical characteristics of the multiple Projects boats that have come and gone over many decades, I'll likely be the first to create and post accurate 3D depictions online. (I've posted a few submarine renders in the Virtual Ship Modeling section.) But until that day appears, myself and all who were/are involved swore and signed an oath to STFU, and for the most part, everyone has. A few stories have emerged, but the level of detail is astonishingly weak due to their minor involvement and limited "Big Picture" access. I can promise you, that there will be a lot of discredited so-called "experts" who will be most embarrassed when the real stories emerge - if ever. And the real stories are the stuff of movies, starring ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances, backed up by hundreds of unacknowledged patriots.

Until then, keep in mind that those who know, --don't talk; and those who talk, --don't know.

CCC


Attachments:
Seawolf Hall Effect Sensor.jpg
Seawolf Hall Effect Sensor.jpg [ 83.77 KiB | Viewed 171 times ]
Post Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:57 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Interesting info!

You've got the positions backward on the Nautilus' sonar. The BQR-4 array was below the torpedo tubes and the SQS-4 active sonar (not BQS-4) was above the torpedo tubes. This was due to a rather unnecessary requirement to be able to use the passive array while surfaced. For the Seawolf, this requirement was lifted and the BQR-4 was moved to the top of the bow, which made the bow drier while surfaced and slightly increased surfaced speed. I think the SQS-4 was below the torpedo tubes, but I'm not sure. There definitely wasn't a separate keel dome when she was launched. The Seawolf also had a BQR-3 (modernized JT) dome early on, which I'm guessing was replaced by an SQS-51 as you mention. The Nautilus appears to have had a BQR-3 dome topside for a short time.

I have seen models of the Seawolf in her special projects phase that show a small dome added to the keel, which I assume is a BQR-2. I'm curious why the Parche would need the BQR-2 if she already had the BQR-7 and the spherical array. Any idea?

Jacob
Post Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:57 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks for posting this information! Always great to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge.
I used to live in Cheshire, CT, then in Montville, CT. Glastonbury is a bit of a haul down Rt.2 to Groton.
Post Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:09 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
"Note that the MicroMir kit does not feature the prominent under bow bulge to house the BQR-4 passive sonar. This sonar was useless above 8 knots due to self-noise from the submarine. It was moved up to the top of the bow on Seawolf (SSN 575).

You can see the BQR-4 installation here: http://navsource.org/archives/08/571/0857133.jpg and here: http://imgur.com/9QIo0gu
Some more bow shots from an R/C model project on 571 by Matt Thor:

http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 3.jpg.html
http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 4.jpg.html
http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 3.jpg.html
http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 8.jpg.html"

The lower chin mount dome you're referring to is for the AN/BQR-2, installed on both the Nautilus and Seawolf. The BQR-2 had 48 phones in a circular array, which even though it was circular and hung level with the keel, still had about a 60 degree baffle area. The BQR-4 was also installed on both boats; it had 58 hydrophones in a conformal array which was housed inside the superstructure above the torpedo room. The BQR-4 had a lower frequency response than the BQR-2, so it was the primary passive long range search sonar when conducting narrowband searches. It was basically an upgraded German WWII design, with 58 tube-based pre-amps mounted in little trays in the upper section of the (single) console. The compensator switch (which connects the hydrophones to the audio processing circuits) was manual - the steering wheel had the comp switch attached directly to it, whereas the BQR-2 was electrically turned and housed in a cabinet in another compartment. Very simple and effective system, though an antique even in the early 70's.

The analog BQR-2 was later replaced by the digital BQR-21, (built by Honeywell in West Covina) which used virtually the same style 48-phone circular array. All of the old boomers got it --except for the 598 class.

As a projects boat, the Seawolf had its BQR-2 upgraded to the 21 during its final overhaul. Likewise, Parche had one mounted above the engine room. It was a great little system; easy to operate, decent digital trackers, and very reliable. If it did fail, it was easy to troubleshoot, unlike the BQR-2 which required a heavy background in synchro theory. Nautilus also carried the BQS-4 active sonar, with it's 'ducer mounted in the chin mount. The BQS-4 was part of the BQR-2 suite. In the case of the Seawolf, in her final configuration, she had a surface ship SQS-51 active sonar (mounted upside down because of the active beam lobe offset) in a topside dome mounted on the bow. Like the BQS-4, it was basically useless unless you wanted to give away your position. It was ALWAYS tagged out with the transmitter cabinet fuses removed prior to a mission.

The BQH-2E was installed on both Nautilus and Seawolf. It was a single-channel LOFAR gram display/processor. Pretty grim compared to the 3-foot wide BQQ-3 Gram-makers the big-boy SSNs' carried, but the ozone output caused by the stylus burning the paper on each update pass was considerably less on the BQH-2. And sometimes, less is good! (Hey, it was bad enough being trapped in a space the size of a master closet with a watch section of chain-smokers for six hours at a stretch!)

I live in CT and always enjoy taking friends and family aboard the Nautilus for tours, especially for a peek inside the sonar shack.

CCC


Attachments:
Nautilus Sonar Shack Fwd.jpg
Nautilus Sonar Shack Fwd.jpg [ 232 KiB | Viewed 241 times ]
BQR-4.jpg
BQR-4.jpg [ 311.54 KiB | Viewed 241 times ]
BQH-2.jpg
BQH-2.jpg [ 147.9 KiB | Viewed 241 times ]
Nautilus Bow Sonars.jpg
Nautilus Bow Sonars.jpg [ 186.83 KiB | Viewed 232 times ]
Post Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:13 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
We would need some more photos from several angles to really judge accuracy. I can't tell whether it is photographic distortion, but the bow shape at the extreme left looks ....slightly weird; see: http://navsource.org/archives/08/571/0857161.jpg for bow shape on the real thing. Also, the sail appears to have a forward edge sweep back. Nautilus has no leading edge sail sweep (see: http://navsource.org/archives/08/571/0857124.jpg ). If you zoom in on this photo, it gives you a good side view of Nautilus sail and bow (http://navsource.org/archives/08/571/0857117a.jpg ).

One of the earliest Revell Nautilus models had, among other inaccuracies, a swept forward edge on the sail. That could be the source of this feature.
Post Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 11:06 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Last week I bought a large model of the SSN 571. It is around 150 cm long and I would like to share some photos with you guys as I don't know anything about that model. Maybe you have some infos on this. Is it a regular model set or one of a kind… Thank you.


Attachments:
63a3b954-0809-45bd-9a9e-c39203a257be.jpg
63a3b954-0809-45bd-9a9e-c39203a257be.jpg [ 48.34 KiB | Viewed 664 times ]
Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 4:21 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks again Tom!

The money is headed your way.

Ed
Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:27 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Ed,
The three large plan sheets are in the mailing tube, all addressed and ready to go. I will go to the Post Office on Saturday morning to mail the tube, so you should see these sometime the middle of next week.

Tom
Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:54 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Hi Tom,

Thanks for going ahead and printing the plans. I've checked my settings and it looks like I am set up to show profile, private message, etc. And it appears to be working now.

Ed
Post Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:32 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Guest wrote:
Much appreciated! Now all I have to do is figure out the hull shape with 11 sections and a load of photos!!!!!

Ed


I received your email via the website requesting the drawings, but there is no direct reply link to you in the email. There are no email or PM buttons below your post above.

I have had made at Staples full size copies of the three Jim Christley Nautilus drawings (made at Groton from the original SSN 571 Nautilus plan sets; including roughly 40-50 hull cross sections) and have a mailing tube to send them to you. However, what I don't have is your email address, or your name and mail address. Your email to me was devoid of all of these details.
Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:50 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
I have a very large (3 feet in length, 2 feet wide), complete set of half hull sections with probably 30-40 stations represented, as well as side, top & bottom views (including flood ports for ballast tanks). These were drawn by Jim Christly employing the original ship set of plans now at the Submarine Force Museum & Library in Groton, CT The overall hull shape is correct, as far as I can tell. Length is listed as 319' 6" and 27' 6" beam.

I have no idea how to reproduce something as large as the 3 sheets of drawings.
Post Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:04 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Much appreciated! Now all I have to do is figure out the hull shape with 11 sections and a load of photos!!!!!

Ed
Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:11 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Ed Kotapish wrote:
Hi,

Can anybody confirm that the Nautilus is 324ft long and 334in (27.8ft) of beam? I see differing info on both dimensions.

Thank you in advance,

Ed


Friedman says 323' 8.5" and 27' 8" in US Submarines since 1945, which is a pretty reputable source.
Post Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:33 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Hi,

Can anybody confirm that the Nautilus is 324ft long and 334in (27.8ft) of beam? I see differing info on both dimensions.

Thank you in advance,

Ed
Post Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Yes it does! Subtle, but then so is the original bow sonar. The front angle is convincing, thanks.
Post Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Tom Dougherty wrote:
Note that the MicroMir kit does not feature the prominent under bow bulge to house the BQR-4 passive sonar.


Actually, it does (excuse the current crappy paint):

http://i.imgur.com/8Fr9RXR.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/QVpbELv.jpg
Post Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:28 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks for the info Tom, definitely helpful!

Jonah
Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:20 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Nautilus (SSN) fans  Reply with quote
Depends on your time frame. Nautilus went to sea with medium gray and black lower hull. It was later that she was repainted in black, red lower hull and refitted with a new stern and 7 bladed propellers. I seem to recall that the MicroMir kit is for her original North Pole expedition, with the upper deck sonar outfitted. She should be gray with black lower hull and with the original 5 bladed propellers. See this R/C Nautilus for some guidelines on paint (lower part of the page) http://subcommittee.com/forum/showthread.php?36635-USS-Nautilus-final-Edition/page3 and this build of the MicroMir Nautilus, also in Polar cruise configuration (with gray above and black below the waterline). http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=155502

Note that the MicroMir kit does not feature the prominent under bow bulge to house the BQR-4 passive sonar. This sonar was useless above 8 knots due to self-noise from the submarine. It was moved up to the top of the bow on Seawolf (SSN 575).

You can see the BQR-4 installation here: http://navsource.org/archives/08/571/0857133.jpg and here: http://imgur.com/9QIo0gu
Some more bow shots from an R/C model project on 571 by Matt Thor:

http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 3.jpg.html
http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 4.jpg.html
http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 3.jpg.html
http://s264.photobucket.com/user/mdthor ... 8.jpg.html
Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:44 am

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