Down the Hatch: Submarine Blunder, Nearly

In June this year a £2.4 billion Indian nuclear submarine nearly sank after a hatch was left open.

But this is not the only costly submarine error this year.

The arrival of Spain’s new diesel-electric Isaac Pera submarine class, was delayed because it was 75 tonnes too heavy.

Although the ability to sink quickly to the bottom of the sea is not a showstopper feature in a submarine, it does help ‘buoy’ crew morale if it is capable of surfacing afterwards!

The engineers’ response to this heavy burden has been to lengthen the vessel to bring its overall density down, but this has created a new problem.

The now 81-metre submarine is too big to fit in its dock at the Spanish navy’s submarine base in Cartagena and, consequently, the port may have to be redesigned.

The Isaac Peral’s excess weight is reportedly the result of a single decimal point being out of place during the drafting stage.


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