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Thread: USS Nautilus submarine: Why are parts still classified?

  1. #1
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    USS Nautilus submarine: Why are parts still classified?

    Just wondering. The thing is so old.

  2. #2
    Roger Feeley,

    Probably almost all nuclear power technology is permanently classified to some degree, but the classification level will be much higher and of longer duration with regard to defense systems. Even the release of the plans for Fat Man and Little Boy of 1945 could probably still give a boost to those who absolutely shouldn't have it. What very little I know, the mechanical design in principal and concept of nuclear reactors and devices is not difficult to understand, but everything of the practical nature is in the subtleties, for examples, the design of the triggers of bombs.

    If you're interested, the Nautilus is open to visitors and for questions, apply to the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Conn. If you need spare parts, call General Dynamics / Electric Boat,..

    If you've not seen it, I strongly recommend finding the English dubbed DVD of Das Boot, concerning a WWII U-Boat crew. That's by far the best submarine movie I know.

    Alan
    Last edited by Alan Caro; 06-10-2019 at 11:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Caro View Post
    Roger Feeley,

    If you've not seen it, I strongly recommend finding the English dubbed DVD of Das Boot, concerning a WWII U-Boat crew. That's by far the best submarine movie I know.

    Alan
    I agree, but would recommend the German version of the movie with English subtitles.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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    Did someone mention General Dynamics?

    Having worked in a field and area involving government contractors, part of the financial incentive for such work is supplying replacement parts.

    If the specifications of an integral part can only be viewed by one contractor, then all replacement parts have to come from that contractor.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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    Ditto with what Alan about Das Boat. I spent my navy career in submarines and it is an excellent movie in english or german. Another excellent submarine movie is Hunt For Red October. We were required to go and watch it - the navy paid the admission.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Boumenot View Post
    Another excellent submarine movie is Hunt For Red October. We were required to go and watch it - the navy paid the admission.
    Ralph, are you at liberty to say why the Navy felt that movie was required? I guess that surprises me.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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    Fred -

    As a career submarine officer from 1977 to 1999, I had to go see it too. As it was explained to us, the Submarine Navy helped in making the movie and loved the PR aspect of it. For us Submariners, it was our "Top Gun". Overall it was pretty good (although not "Das Boot" good). Showed a lot of the things and operations that fast attack submariners did during the old days of the Cold War; just in a bit more dramatic way.

    James
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    James Cheever
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    Commander, USN (Retired)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    Just wondering. The thing is so old.
    Not as old as these secrets: https://www.cia.gov/news-information...fied-docs.html

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by James Cheever View Post
    Fred -

    As a career submarine officer from 1977 to 1999, I had to go see it too. As it was explained to us, the Submarine Navy helped in making the movie and loved the PR aspect of it. For us Submariners, it was our "Top Gun". Overall it was pretty good (although not "Das Boot" good). Showed a lot of the things and operations that fast attack submariners did during the old days of the Cold War; just in a bit more dramatic way.

    James
    Thanks James!
    Frec
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    Just wondering. The thing is so old.
    From my decades of experience all I have to say is some things may never be declassified.

  11. #11
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    I was stationed at the Sub School in Groton when the movie came out. The navy got a bus to take my entire division to see it and we had to sign off that we had see it. It was very realistic especially the last hunting scenes but there was some hollywood BS in it too.

  12. #12
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    Roger

    The Nautlius has changed throughout the years.
    When we first put it at the "pier" , it was just outside the sub base entrance, to the northwest of Fusconi's cleaners. There wasn't much there then, and the side of the boat that faced the pier had a lead shielding enclosure welded to it. There was a simple brow to get over to it, and other than opening it up for easier access, it was kind of "as is". I took my mom on a tour in the early 90's.
    There will always be things classified about the Nautilus, and all submarines. Submarines, and submariners, are pretty tight lipped in general about their boats, and the submarine force is a very different Navy than the "Tin Can" or,Surface Navy.
    The materials used for piping, layout and distribution of sub systems, the actual reactor systems, and the reactor itself, are not only legacy, but still being used to this day.
    The Nautilus did many classified op's, and the resulting information from those op's was used to change the face of the submarine Navy. Only the NR-1 is shrouded in more myth, legend, and lore, than the Nautilus. It's a very important history, in and of, itself.

    It would be nice of they would move either the '622, Daniel Webster, or '635 boat,Sam Rayburn, up to Groton. They're all that is left of the '41 for Freedom Boats, and I hear they're going to be replaced as training ship, by the Michigan, or the Ohio.

    They made you guys go watch the Hunt for Red October??? Wow!!
    I took my wife to see it at the cinema in Waterford CT, as I was already out of the Navy by then. I was a Missile Tech on the '611 and '619, from '79-'84.
    I'm sorry, but I was kind of laughing through it. It wasn't as bad as Crimson Tide, but once you got past the opening scene, with the biologic's sound cuts, it got Hollywood. It was a good movie, but with a theater full of Qualified Submariners, we had some fun with it. Our spouses were all just kind of eyeballing us. It was a good time.

    Das Boot, was an excellent film!! There were still a few Diesel boats on the river, lower base, when I got out, and they were "cramped".
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 06-11-2019 at 8:41 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
    Mike, your mention of diesel boats reminded me of this. Captain Peter Huchthausen wrote a good book about the Cuban Missile Crisis called October Fury. He reported that we were trying to get a russian sub to surface by dropping grenades (wrapped in toilet paper rolls IIRC). He said that the soviet sub had an small diesel exhaust leak that was affecting the crew just enough that the Captain thought we were dropping depth charges on them and was just about to fire a tactical nuclear weapon he had onboard. The second in command stopped him just in time. It's been a few years since I read it and I may have boggled a few details. But it was was devil of a scary history. The book was short and well worth the read.
    Fred
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 06-12-2019 at 6:59 AM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    Just wondering. The thing is so old.
    IMO it might be the reactor design that is still classified due to its advanced design of the day and to its still advanced design even today.

  15. #15
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    Our company (a subcontractor) manufactured a component of that sub that was used in the reactor. Everyone, and I mean everyone, right down to the floor sweepers had to sign confidentiality agreements and have a background check whether they were involved in the manufacturing process or not. Our joke was always that when documentation for the part weighed more than the part itself, it was time to ship it to the contractor.

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