That Time A British Sub Spent Hours Under A Russian Carrier

That Time A British Sub Spent Hours Under A Russian Carrier | Frontline Videos

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Quite Cheeky

In April 1977, the Soviet Navy was exercising with their brand new aircraft carrier Kiev in the Barents Sea. The ship had just been commissioned two years prior and featured a vast number of electronic systems, which included the MG-335 Platina MF sonar, an MG-342 Orion LF sonar on its hull, and a towed MG-325 Vega variable-depth sonar.

For protection, the carrier was also escorted by three Kresta II class guided missile cruisers and one Kashin class destroyer. 

Despite several sonars and many escorts, a British submarine still managed to sneak up under the carrier. HMS Swiftsure was tasked to capture the carrier’s acoustic signature in hopes of recognizing the ship much faster in the future.

Swiftsure slowly and quietly reached the carrier from behind by taking advantage of its sonar blind spot. 

The submarine lurked for hours until she finally raised herself to take a picture of the carrier’s propellers, hull, and rudders. John Speller, the submarine’s captain, later received a small model of Kiev’s propellers to celebrate their achievement.


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