Monday, April 25, 2005

"It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."

This past weekend my son and I took a tour on the Russian Juliett 484 museum in Providence RI . Or as our friend Willyshake would say "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." Romeo and Juliet [11,2]. Sorry Will couldn't resist.

It was somewhat of a traumatic experience (not the Shakespearean kind) for my 5 year old who has been to other warship museums with no issues. Maybe it was because it was a "Bad Guy Submarine" but I think it was the safety video before the tour. Part of the safety video is how to get off the boat if an alarm sounds, didn't like the alarm noise and covered his ears.

Well after couple of tries of "the alarm not going to sound" he agreed to indulge his dad and go belowdecks, but in the aft part of the forward torpedo room got scared again. That's when we meet Dave and Ric a couple of Subvets in coveralls from the Cobra Foxtrot sub that was in Seattle and is now distend for San Diego. They were on the Juliett to help in some repair and maintenance having worked on the Foxtrot and having experience with a Russian boat.

Ric and Dave were great, they saw my son's distress and immediately came to my assistance. I explained that my son was concerned that the alarms were going to go off and he didn't like the noise. Dave (the one with the hat that said Cobra COB on it) tells my son "the alarms don't work, we're here to fix them". That did the trick and he was fine after that. Now he wants to go back again to see the bad guys submarine.

Juliett 484 in Providence (Source: Juliett 484 Museum Website)

As a cold war relic this is a pretty cool thing to see. These boats were the precursor to the nuke class Echos (pun link for echo). They carried SS-N-3 cruise missiles capable of delivering a tactical nuke to a range of 400 miles. The Soviet version of the Regulus boats. NATO had some real concern about the Julietts in the 60's. These boats were some of the first to have a rubber coated hull and were very quite when running slow on aux electric motors. Early on they were tasked for a nuclear strike role but were later used to shadow NATO Naval groups and Carrier tasks forces. Key weakness was it had to surface fire the SS-N-3.

There is lots of history surrounding the one in Providence. It's owned by the group (The USS Saratoga Museum Foundation) who's trying to get the USS Saratoga set up as a museum in Rhode Island. There is some antidotal evidence that it may have shadowed the Saratoga during its career. It was also used in the film K-19 the Widowmaker.

All and all worth a look for any Submariner interested in Cold War history. As Ric one of the Subvets said on Rontini's Submarine BBS "It's an A-Gangers wet dream."

Без перевода.

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