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12.12.2017

"San Juan" dragged to the bottom of the reputation of German shipbuilding

In the death of the Argentine submarine "San Juan" could be to blame for a large German company, which several years before the tragedy changed the batteries on the boat, which eventually led to a fatal fire for her. This version was distributed by one of the German TV channels. This version indirectly confirms reports that things are getting worse and worse at military shipyards and in the German submarine fleet.

German companies Ferrostaal and EnerSys-Hawker are suspected of involvement in the death of the Argentinean submarine "San Juan", Bayerischer Rundfunk reported on Monday. When the submarine was overhauled in the year 2011, the batteries were replaced, which could be the cause of the catastrophe.

Before 15 November communication with the headquarters was broken, the team managed to report a short circuit and a fire. Batteries went out of order, but the boat, which was under water, was still moving at first. The cause of the accident was seawater, trapped in batteries through a snorkel (air intake device), the German television channel assumes.

"There is a suspicion that the batteries that were put in place in part or in part do not meet the quality standards ... We also do not know where they were delivered from Germany or from another country. That's why we want to know which engineers worked on the site and who signed the paper, that the repair is completed, "Cornelia Schmidt-Lirman, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Argentine parliament, demanded earlier.

It was with the companies Ferrostaal and EnerSys-Hawker that a contract was concluded for the supply of 964 battery cells. The deal amounted to 5,1 million euros, Deutsche Welle reported. EnerSys (Hawker) is an international company based in Germany for the production of industrial batteries. The headquarters of Ferrostaal, which produces various equipment, is also located in Germany. In Ferrostaal, the charges were rejected. From EnerSys-Hawker applications have not yet arrived.

Recall, 21 November it became known that the day of the disappearance of "San Juan" in the area of ​​its location was marked by an explosion. According to the media, the explosion in the vicinity of the disappearance of the boat exceeded 100 kg in trotyl equivalent. 27 November, the Argentine Navy reported that there were no torpedoes on the boat, so the version of the accidental explosion of ammunition on board is untenable. "The explosion could have occurred due to the accumulation of hydrogen," the representative of the fleet, Enrique Balbi, quoted RIA Novosti as saying. "If the reason is hydrogen, we do not know why the accumulation of hydrogen has formed." 1 December, the Navy announced the end of the rescue operation of the crew.

"I said on the first day when I found out about these events that the San Juan was killed as a result of the explosion of the hydrogen mixture, which is released either as a result of improper operation or because of poor-quality batteries. Such cases have happened many times,

- First Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Doctor of Military Sciences, captain of the I reserve rank Konstantin Sivkov told the newspaper VIEW.

"Any battery, even if it is perfect, in case of improper operation - with improper charging modes and battery operating modes in the underwater position - can begin to release hydrogen, which when it reaches a critical concentration can explode. As an ordinary gas mixture, "- explained the source, adding that then it is the fault of poorly trained personnel.

"I have no complaints against the Germans. Carrying out repairs from the manufacturer does not remove the responsibility from the operators. If there is improper maintenance of machinery, then the results will be sad. When the hands of the people who exploit it grow out of the wrong place, then at least where the repairs are done, "said Maksim Shepovalenko, a member of the Analysis and Technology Center, captain of the II rank, retired to the newspaper VZGLYAD.

"Recall even the case of an Indian submarine, which also previously underwent repairs in Severodvinsk," he added, referring to a fire on a Russian-made submarine that took place in the port of Mumbai in 2013.

"I'm more inclined to believe that it's not the fault of the manufacturer and not the one who made the repairs. Already a lot of German boats are in the world in operation to say that they are unreliable. So these are not really well-founded claims, "Shepovalenko said. "Rather, some carelessness as a consequence of the general collapse of Argentina's underwater forces. The country is rapidly rolling down the hill. The country that once was in the top ten, which used to design and build its tanks, is simply degrading before our eyes, "he said.

"Now, probably, it's hardly possible to establish something, even if they find these fragments and they are examined by underwater vehicles. If there is an interest in blaming everything on the Germans, they will bring down. But I think that the Germans also insured themselves, and they certainly will have unshielded arguments in their defense, "Shepovalenko suggested.

However, Sivkov still did not rule out that the Germans could supply substandard batteries, and not because they forgot how to do them. "The German school of underwater shipbuilding has remained, - the expert is sure. "Just a lack of funding does not allow the German fleet to support submarines at the level, and it continues for a long time." "This is not surprising, Germany has taken the course to achieve economic domination in Europe. This required funds - that's the result. The Germans have recently ceased to deal particularly with their own defense. According to recent data, they and the tanks "Leopard" the percentage of serviceability is very low, "- said the source.

"The problem is in the German government, in the incompetent approach of the country's leadership. I was able to train German sailors, I know what kind of people they are, they are fighters. And I can not imagine that they will ruin their fleet, "Sivkov pointed out. "This is due to a simple disregard for ensuring their own security. Apparently, when the head of the Defense Ministry is a man who has nothing to do with the armed forces, as Mrs von der Lien, the picture can be such, it is inevitable, "the expert said.

As you know, in October the last of the six U-35 submarines of the 212A project, which was in service with Germany, went out of service and got in the queue for repairs. Thus, Berlin almost lost the submarine fleet. It is noteworthy that the boats went out of order, despite their relatively small age. The representative of the German Navy explained the situation by the lack of components for submarines and poor financing.

As for the deplorable condition of the FRG submarine fleet, Shepovalenko blames the fact that a new "digital" generation has come to German factories, which has lost the skills of "working with iron." In addition, a lack of spare parts can also take place. "There are, probably, budget constraints. Germany, of course, is not a poor country, but the authorities are not in a hurry to shell out for war, "he added.

"Yes, and maritime affairs for Berlin - not the most important. If they even consider for themselves, roughly speaking, "a threat from the East", then the boats, which are mainly intended for operations at the Baltic theater, are not the most important for them. The sea threat from the East is not so great that it is especially so. If you remember how many boats we have in the Baltic, then, probably, I would not have rushed in their place, "Shepovalenko summed up.

A source: LOOK

Author: Nikita Kovalenko, Marina Baltacheva

Tags: Submarines, Argentina, Germany, Analytics, Investigations, Incidents