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Author Topic: Croatian Army: Multipurpose Underwater Crafts - Modernized and Ready For Use  (Read 3968 times)
 
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« on: March 15, 2010, 08:52:55 pm »

Multipurpose Underwater Crafts - Modernized and Ready For Use


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The majority probably knows what submarines are, but for many people the notion of the underwater craft is surely unknown as well as the fact that the Armed forces have them in their composition. More precisely, two underwater crafts that were once in the structure of the naval commandos unit are now in Special Operations Battalion. With integration of naval commandos into that unit in 2007 underwater crafts became a part of the 3rd (divers") company of the SOB. In the course of the last year they were modernized and since September 2009 they have been completely ready for operational use.

Underwater crafts are placed in the barracks "Kovčanje"at Mali Lošinj, where the hyperbaric chamber is also placed, and how they function and what is their purpose we found out in the interview with Commander of the Divers" company of the SOB, 1LT Nenad Kontri, who is at the same time Head of the training and instructor for navigation of the underwater craft. As he told us, underwater craft R2-M is designed for executing commandos" attacks at enemy"s vessels at anchorage and coastal installations. It is intended for transportation of paradivers, whose ultimate objective is attack on a defined facility, and with its autonomy it enables travelling longer distances. After casting anchor divers set off to the final part of the assignment "at their own propulsion", or rather swim with help of foot fins, and attack and extraction from the area of operations is carried out with underwater navigation. In addition to that, underwater craft can also be used for searching the seabed with adjustment of a special operation of a sonar for that purpose, and in such assignments it can be used till the depth of 40 metres. As 1LT Kontri explained to us, the new system with which both underwater crafts are modernized and equipped ensures wireless connection of a computer with navigation cylinder NU 20 and an appropriate route on which underwater craft will navigate is entered into the computer and then it is transferred into the navigation system of the underwater craft. The underwater craft has three regimes of navigation - immersion, navigation and navigation in extraordinary conditions (when maximal speed is achieved).

The training for navigation of an underwater craft is carried out regularly for part of the members of the Divers" Company of the SOB, and in the course of 95 hours, which is the duration of one training period, attendees adopt theory and practice. After they are familiarized with the structure of the underwater craft and a system of electronics and navigation system, as well as with particulars related to navigating an underwater craft, testing follows, and then practical application of adopted knowledge. Having passed the theoretical exam, and before the first navigation assisted by instructors, attendees also undergo planning a navigation.

Having passed the exam from theory and examination diving, they also have to undergo an advanced level of navigating an underwater craft that comprises navigation in aggravated conditions and that is primarily related to night navigation. Only after they have successfully passed that exam they are qualified to independently navigate an underwater craft.

Underwater crafts are used to pass over a certain distance as quickly and as easily as possible, and the body of the underwater craft comprises an area of useful cargo that is deigned for transportation of counter-ship mines, underwater containers with equipment and weapons as well as explosive devices and other things. When divers reach a defined target for underwater navigation, they anchor the underwater craft at the seabed and with help of equipment and devices they swim to the spot where they execute their mission. They always go in pairs, and while the "driver" navigates an underwater craft a "co-driver" follows a chart on the navigator and resets the time when he changes the bearing.

Source: Hrvatski vojnik http://www.hrvatski-vojnik.hr/

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