Putin’s Defense Ambitions Suffer Huge Setback – What is the Future of the Submarine Missions?

  • The only factory in Russia producing a product needed to mask the submarine wake has burned down.
  • The effects are devastating as there is no way to renew production at least for 2 years.
  • Russia would have to postpone or rethink strategic projects involving submarines.

A fire occurred Sunday in the town of Herzach-22. As a result, a very unique Russian factory, that was producing monomolecular polymetallic filaments, burned down.  According to the Russia’s official version, the fire occurred at the tungsten ingot dehydration workshop, due to the failure of the fire systems. The fire spread through the whole factory, including the storage of the final product of the linearized titanium-tungsten monofilament (a single strand of material, as opposed to multi-filament lines), which was ready to ship to the Russian military.

Monofillment is a line that alternates titanium and tungsten atoms connected together by interweaving via hybridization of their outer electron shells. It is a huge blow to Russia’s defense sector. Russian submarines will not be capable to carry out any type of missions or research and any classified projects would have to be postponed for sometime, possibly at least a few years.

Moreover, the product is critical in the success of any Russian operation on water. Any time a submarine enters the water, it leaves a wake trail up to 72 hours, which can be:

  • The region of recirculating flow immediately behind a moving or stationary blunt body, caused by viscosity, which may be accompanied by flow separation and turbulence, or
  • The wave pattern on the water surface downstream of an object in a flow, or produced by a moving object (e.g. a ship), caused by density differences of the fluids above and below the free surface and gravity (or surface tension).
On March 25, 2018, a fire engulfed the Winter Cherry shopping mall and entertainment complex in Kemerovo, Russia. It killed at least 60 people (more than half of which children) according to official statements. The blaze started somewhere on the top floor of the four-story complex, and people were seen jumping from windows to escape it. 100 people were evacuated, and another 20 were rescued.

Hence, any operation will be easily identified by others and allow them to figure out the speed the submarine is traveling at, its location etc. The product protects it from detection and it is based on the Bernoulli’s principle. In fluid dynamics, Bernoulli’s principle states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy. The principle is named after Daniel Bernoulli who published it in his book Hydrodynamica in 1738.

The fire caused an impact on the environment. The high temperature caused defragmentation of the line and 50mm elements entered the atmosphere, It also made it impossible for the locals to be in the area for a 3 mile radius, due to the health hazard. Since it has been the only factory producing this product, Russian strategic planning and future of missions is in jeopardy.

Overall, it is better for the West, as the Kremlin has been pushing a military agenda. Unknown operations with questionable missions continue to happen and are a possible threat to national security for the many EU nations. Additionally, there have been a myriad of the reports pertaining to  Russia’s interference with the GPS signal.

Failure around fire and safety is nothing new with Russia. The fire systems continually fail as well as their testing. Last year, the Winter Cherry shopping center was engulfed in flames in Russia, killing over 60 people, many of them children, due to the failure of the fire systems and an improper response. Russia is reckless with the lives of its own citizens and even more so due to Putin’s military ambitions. This incident is a big blow to Russian missions.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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