ONSLOW HMAS (SS-60) submarine

Built as a submarine under yard No 702 by Scott’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd, Greenock Cartsburn Dockyard for the Australian Navy.
04 December 1967 laid down.
03 December 1968 launched as the HMAS ONSLOW (SS-60).
Displacement 1,610 ton standard, 2,030 tons surfaced, 2,410 tons submerged, dim. 90.0 x 8.1 x 5.5m. (surfaced draught).
Powered: Diesel electric by 2 Admiralty Standard Range supercharged V16 diesels, each 3,000 hp, 2 English Electric motors, driving two propellers, 13 knots surface, 17 knots submerged.
Range, by a speed of 12 knots, 9,000 mile.
Test depth 200 metres.
Armament: 6 – 21 inch bow tubes, 2 – 21 inch stern tubes which were later removed. Carried a mix of 20 Mark 48 Mod 4 torpedoes and UGM-84 Sub Harpoon missiles.
Crew 64.
22 December 1969 commissioned


HMAS ONSLOW (SS 60/SSG 60) was one of six Oberon-class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The submarine was named after the town of ONSLOW, Western Australia, and Sir Alexander ONSLOW, with the boat's motto and badge derived from ONSLOW's family heritage. Ordered in 1963, ONSLOW was laid down at the end of 1967 by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland, launched almost a year later, and commissioned into the RAN at the end of 1968.
Although never involved in war, three major incidents occurred during ONSLOW's career. The first occurred in 1972, when a disgruntled sailor who disobeyed orders caused the submarine to dive to almost twice her safe operating depth. As a result, the RAN changed the Submarine Service from being able to "conscript" any sailor for submarine service to volunteer only. The general consensus from a number of submariners who served on ONSLOW during the early 1970s is that this event did not happen.
The second happened in 1981, when carbon monoxide fumes from one of the diesel generators filled the submarine, resulting in the death of one sailor. Although changes were made to submarine operating procedures, the boat's company was not provided with any psychological counselling, and the incident report remained classified until 2009. The third was a controversial line-crossing ceremony in 1995, which resulted in restrictions being placed on similar ceremonies aboard RAN vessels. During her career, ONSLOW became the first conventionally powered submarine to be fitted with anti-ship missiles, and was successful in wargames: "sinking" a seven-ship flotilla during Exercise Kangaroo 3 in 1980, and the United States supercarrier USS CARL VINSON at RIMPAC 1998.
ONSLOW was decommissioned in 1999, and was presented to the Australian National Maritime Museum, where she is preserved as a museum ship.


Design and construction
ONSLOW was one of four Oberon-class submarines ordered in 1963. The last of this group, ONSLOW was laid down by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. in Greenock, Scotland on 4 December 1967. She was launched by Princess Alexandra, The Honorable Lady Ogilvy on 3 December 1968, and commissioned into the RAN on 22 December 1969. The boat was named after the coastal town of ONSLOW, Western Australia, which was in turn named after Sir Alexander ONSLOW, the third Chief Justice of Western Australia. ONSLOW's motto, Festina Lente (Latin for "Hasten Slowly"), is shared with the ONSLOW family, and the ship's badge contains a judge's wig. Although this was the only use of the name by the RAN, two surface ships of the Royal Navy have previously been named HMS ONSLOW.

The submarine is 295.2 feet (90.0 m) long, with a beam of 26.5 feet (8.1 m), and a draught of 18 feet (5.5 m) when surfaced. At full load displacement, ONSLOW displaces 2,030 tons when surfaced, and 2,410 tons when submerged. The two propeller shafts are each driven by an English Electric motor providing 3,500 brake horsepower and 4,500 shaft horsepower; the electricity for these is generated by two Admiralty Standard Range supercharged V16 diesel generators. These could propel the submarine at up to 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) on the surface, and up to 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) when submerged. ONSLOW had a maximum range of 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), and a test depth of 200 metres (660 ft) below sea level. When launched, the boat had a company of 8 officers and 56 sailors, but by the time she decommissioned, the number of sailors had increased to 60. In addition, up to 16 trainees could be carried.
Unlike other submarines in her class, ONSLOW was fitted with a four-man diver access hatch, allowing for easier deployment and recovery of Special Forces divers.

Armament
The main armament of ONSLOW was six 21-inch (53 cm) bow torpedo tubes, capable of firing torpedoes or releasing sea mines. The British Mark 8 torpedo was initially carried by the submarine; this was replaced by the wire-guided Mark 23. During a refit from 1982 to 1984, ONSLOW became the first conventionally powered submarine in the world to be fitted with anti-ship missiles; specifically the UGM-84 Sub Harpoon. At the same time, the Mark 23 torpedoes were replaced by the United States Mark 48 wire-guided torpedo. As of 1996, the standard payload of ONSLOW was a mix of 20 Mark 48 Mod 4 torpedoes and Sub Harpoon missiles. Some or all of the torpedo payload could be replaced by Mark 5 Stonefish sea mines, which were deployed through the torpedo tubes.
The submarine's secondary armament consisted of two stern-mounted, short-length 21-inch (53 cm) torpedo tubes: these were intended for use against pursuing submarines, but the development of steerable wire-guided torpedoes shortly after the boat entered service made these redundant, and they were closed off during the 1982-84 refit. The aft tubes fired Mark 20 anti-submarine torpedoes.
Operational history

1970–1981
ONSLOW arrived in Sydney at the conclusion of her delivery voyage to Australia on 4 July 1970. On board was Vice Admiral Sir Victor Smith, at the time the Chief of Naval Staff, who had embarked at Brisbane. The boat visited Pearl Harbor later that year; arriving without being detected by the USN until she surfaced in the middle of the harbour. ONSLOW returned to Pearl Harbor in 1971 to participate in the RIMPAC multinational naval exercise. During the exercise, a practice torpedo fired by the United States Coast Guard Cutter RUSH failed to disengage as designed and hit the submarine—the only damage was a small dent near the stern.
In 1972, the first major incident of ONSLOW's career occurred. The submarine was performing dive tests off the continental shelf outside Sydney Heads. One of the boat's company, transferred to the RAN Submarine Service against his will, refused to obey an order to close the valve on forward ballast tank, causing it to overfill with seawater and forcing the submarine into a steep crash dive. The dive took ONSLOW to a depth of 366 metres (1,201 ft), well beyond the 200-metre (660 ft) safe operating depth of the Oberon class, before another sailor was able to close the valve. Seven tons of water had been taken on by the ballast tank, and with not enough compressed air available to completely empty the tank and allow the submarine to rise, ONSLOW's company had to rely on the submarine's twin propeller screws to help make it to the surface. The sailor responsible for the incident was beaten by his comrades and removed from the submarine in a straitjacket upon the boat's return to submarine base HMAS Platypus. This incident led the RAN to change submarine service to volunteers only.
ONSLOW became the first vessel of the RAN to be assigned to the ANZUK force in Singapore on 22 July 1972. During another ANZUK deployment, in 1974, the boat's attack periscope was damaged when it came in contact with the log probe of the frigate HMS LEOPARD. The boat returned to...
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