PHOTOS: ROK-NS Cheonan wreckage

Here are 6 closeup pictures of the ROK navy ship [Photo Gallery: The Wreckage of the Cheonan] from Der Spiegel.
http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107.html
http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-2.html http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-3.html http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-4.html http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-5.html http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-6.html * http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-7.html http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-8.html
Photo 6 http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-6.html is of particular interest. It is claimed to be the torpedo that sank the Cheonan two months ago. Anyone who has worked with metal can tell that the corrosion and the encrustations will take a lot longer than the two month immersion in salt water to acquire. To use this fragment as conclusive evidence is problematical. It also looks like a regular compressed air torpedo rather than an electric one (I'm not sure) and therefore noisy and easily detectable as "incoming"(?)
DPRK operates two classes of submarines, the Larger Romeo class and the midget submarine Yugo class. Specs are from WIKIPEDIA.
Romeo Class submarine Displacement: 1,475 tons surfaced 1,830 tons submerged Length:     76.6 m (251 ft 3 in) Beam:     6.7 m (22 ft) Draught:     5.2 m (17 ft 1 in) Propulsion:     Two diesels delivering 2.94 MW (4000 shp) with two electric motors driving two shafts. Speed: 15.2 knots surfaced 13 knots submerged
The Romeo is too big and too noisy to operate in the shallow waters, 45 metres depth, where the Cheonan was hit.
Yugo Class submarine Type:     midget submarine Displacement:     90 tons (submerged) Length:     20m Beam:     2m Propulsion:     Single-shaft MTU diesel engine Speed:     10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced 4 knots (7.4 km/h) submerged Range:     Unable to reach the southern extreme of South Korea Capacity:     4-6 Special forces troops Armament:     Some armed with two 21-inch (530 mm) torpedoes, possibly in drop collars. Notes:     First successful indigenous midget submarine
A sub at 20m length is very chancy operating and staying submerged in 45m water and still remain undetected or, once detected, to escape. Its too small to house internal torpedoes and having external drop torpedoes makes noisy maneuvering. In any case at 4 knots submerged its only good for ambush and useless for pursuit.
The damage to the hull is very interesting. A below hull non contact explosion crates a big air bubble that expands as it rises. This lifts the whole ship up snapping the hull or at least bend the plates or bend the prop shafts, shake up the engines and sensitive electronic equipment. The Cheonan snapped in half. Shouldn't the superstructure plates be drawn into the middle instead of being spalyed outwards? http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-3.html
Anyway there is not much ROK or the US can do. It will be folly to go to war with the DPRK over this incident. Don't spend time on whether the DPRK is evil or not and that Kim be punished. Also the case against the DPRK is not definitive yet. Kim may be crazy but he is not that crazy.
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PaPa Peng wrote:

...she must have been resting on the bottom on her starboard side...I can't tell which portion of the ship that is a picture of, but it could also have been splayed outward from impacting the bottom and compression-crushing vice being any sort of "detonation" damage...hard to say without knowing more...
...and I'm pretty shocked at the pic with the ships screws being on the net. Compare how clean those are to the torpedo fragments.
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: : The Romeo is too big and too noisy to operate in the shallow waters, : 45 metres depth, where the Cheonan was hit. :     Why do you say that? Diesel-electric boats are very, very good at working in coastal shallows, especially if they can more with a carefully timed fishing fleet to cover their sounds.
    I expect, if the Cheonan was on a routine patrol, that the sub (if it was a sub...) simply moved into position ahead of time, and waited for its prey to come to it. It seems the Cheonan was operating alone?
    Biggest danger of a D-E boat in 45m of water would be an aircraft seeing it below the surface. I have no idea how clear the water is in that area, nor do I remember if the sinking happened at night. : : A sub at 20m length is very chancy operating and staying submerged in : 45m water and still remain undetected or, once detected, to escape. :     If the Cheonan was operating alone, escape wasn't too difficult. : : electronic equipment. The Cheonan snapped in half. Shouldn't the : superstructure plates be drawn into the middle instead of being : spalyed outwards? http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-3.html :     It isn't clear to me that she broke before hitting the bottom. If does appear that she was laying on her starboard side - at least the forward part was. (photo 7-5).
    Propellors look to be variable pitch, and the aft part was also lying on her starboard side, looking at the damaage to the starboard propellor. Of course, it could simply be damage from settling on the bottom. All of the blades look bent, which makes me think the propellors were (still?) turning.
    The port prop support looks to be solidly attached, so I would not think the prop shaft snapped/bent. Off hand, I don't see any damage to the hull plating above the port prop (photo 7-2).
    It is interesting that what they are not showing is photos of the two hull sections where she broke apart. Plates buckled inwards should show an extenal explosion. : : Anyway there is not much ROK or the US can do. It will be folly to go : to war with the DPRK over this incident. :     Actually, a state of war still exists. :-) An article I read indicated the current S. Korean president was not a supporter of the "sunshine" policy with N. Korea, and this attack was staged by Kim to undermine the S. Korean president, and get a president who would be more sympathetic to N. Korea (back) in power.
    If the water clarity allows it, increased helo based scrutiny of the area around the N/S border may discourage N. Korean subs from furthur ambushes. Again, assuming N. Korea is responsible. Especially if some of their subs are 'accidentally' targeted in an ASW 'exercise'.
    The real issue here is whether China brings their mongrel to heel or not.
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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PaPa Peng wrote the following:

So, it is a conspiracy?
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

...I think it's grasping, at the very least.
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That's what I am trying to figure out. It makes no sense for Dear Leader Kim to OK such an attack. It makes even less sense for South Korea to sink one of its own. But the sinking and 46 deaths require that some enemy be blamed. Kim is a very convenient scapegoat.
Meantime some more details. 1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10147297.stm Shows the torpedo's electric motor and aft propeller section. Based on its corrosion and encrustations definitely not the torpedo that sunk the Cheonan. The blue Korean #1 marking is too fresh and inconsistent with the condition of the metal it is written on. 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROKS_Cheonan_%28PCC-772%29 : [The ship sank in 45 meter deep waters with a small portion of the overturned hull still visible above water. It was expected that it would take up to 20 days to salvage the ship.] The water is certainly too shallow for even a midget submarine to operate in. It risks early detection and not many options to escape as the site is 1 nautical mile (1.9 km) off the south-west coast of Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. 3. Quote: [The cause of this explosion was not immediately determined, although experts said that an external explosion was likely, as the structure of the ship was bent upwards, rather than evenly splitting as would have happened if metal fatigue had been the cause, and that an internal explosion was unlikely, as explosives on board the ship were undamaged.]
Too bad there is netting that covers the evidence. A good look at the split edges of the two halves should be good evidence of an internal or an external explosion, and provide a good indication of the direction of the explosion. Thinking it over that picture of outwardly spalyed plates in http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-3.html suggests a massive fuel-air explosion in the engine room.
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PaPa Peng wrote:

Just what part of the ship are we looking at in that picture, and which direction is which?..
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Rufus wrote the following:

That is the stack that was above the point of the explosion. It was blown off the ship, so it the third major piece of the ship, besides the bow and stern. The metal splayed out are interior panel walls, which are much thinner than the outer shell. I don't have the expertise of the multi-national investigators to render an opinion of what caused the explosion, and no one here has either.
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Bill
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willshak wrote:

As someone that has a bit if experience with aircraft mishaps, I could conjecture that the outward splay could be from impact of that portion of the wreckage with the ocean bottom and may actually have nothing to do with causality...but you're right - there's a LOT that we here don't know. Including just how the wreckage was recovered and displayed.
Something will come out...just what, who can say?..
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We know for sure governments are involved, which means lying, lots of it. I would not lift a finger for anything some government tried to pull me into, especially not if it is supposedly for my own good, or for my contry.
Hmmm, that new Hasegawa night-fighter Ginga is pretty nice, a great distraction from the so-called "news" of the mainstream media...
Gernot
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