Naval Architecture (Ship Building)/Expert Profile

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The workings of a submarine, diesel electric and nuclear.

Experience in the area

22 years Royal Navy, 17 years in submarines, 6 years 'wrecker' on a 'bomber'. Since then, air conditioning and refrigeration in hospitals, ferries, offices, factories. Diesel generators and airport ground equipment. UK, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia.

What do you like about this subject?

Submarines took up 17 years of my lfe. I was ships systems senior technician on a SSBN for 6 years, 'affectionately' known as WRECKER or OUTSIDE. Called other things of course at various times!! Best job in the world.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I have retired from the Royal Navy.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Missiles are ejected from a submarine by steam pressure. The rocket motor doesn't fire until it is clear of the water.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

The crews are prepared to annihilate thousands of innocent people to protect their own way of life. I still accept this premise.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
David03/02/11101010Very quick and easy-to-understand response, even though .....
Dvid03/01/1110101062 pounds? I did not know that .....
Marc04/18/09101010Thank you verry much I now know .....
Max05/11/08101010Thank you so much Keith ! that .....

Recent Answers from Keith Hallam

2016-10-06 Query re weather and submarines:

The Seaquest episode wouldn't happen as shown, seawater is a good conductor of electricity and the charge would dissipate into the ocean.  A hurricane will be felt by a submarine, down to about 200ft.

2011-07-04 Depth to which a submarine can sink:

The maximum operational diving depth of any submarine is classified so I cannot give actual figures. A bit silly really because you can bet that all intelligence agencies know each others secrets. Anyway

2011-03-02 Aircraft carrier question...:

Hi David, I served in 2 aircraft carriers for short periods before being a submariner. I was recently contacted by a shipmate from 1958 in HMS Albion. His job was 'The Tanky'. He was forever (seemingly)

2011-02-28 Subs that do not sink:

Hi, it's the same way that a surface ship doesn't sink when it is first floated in the water. The builders know the weight of the vessel is less than the weight of water it displaces so it must float.

2009-08-28 Outside Wrecker:

Hi. I was the Outside Wrecker of a SSBN for some 5 years. Responsible for the correct operation and maintenance of all mechanical machinery outside the engine room (but not weapons). This included masts


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