• May 8, 2015


There may be some new evidence in relation to the suspected collision between a submarine and a motor fishing vessel in the Irish Sea off the west coast of the Isle of Man two weeks ago.

The Celtic League has had reports that the damaged net from the Co. Down trawler Karen has been recovered so analysis of this may provide more accurate data about what Nation was responsible for the incident.

It seems unlikely the Karen’s net was in contact with the main body of the submarine, it is more likely to have been a towed array (listening or communication) device which can stretch out behind the vessel.

The towed array when deployed can be a considerable distance away from the submarine and not always directly astern of the vessel depending on how it is manoeuvring at the time.

The ‘techy’ end of the towed array can also be quite substantial as was evidenced some years ago when an Irish vessel actually recovered a metal box shaped object almost eight feet long and several feet wide. Identified from its marking as belonging to a United States submarine the US swiftly recovered the secret equipment with the acquiescence of Irish military authorities.

On many NATO submarines the towed array is deployed out of a cone shaped protrusion on the stern of the vessel directly behind the propellers. On Russian submarines (such as the Akula and Typhoon class) the device is mounted in a distinctive fin with a bulbous shaped housing which made the Russian vessels easily identifiable from NATO counterparts. Recent NATO types like the Royal Navy Astute and the US ballistic missile (James Madison class) vessels, however, now also now sport a fin mounting, for manoeuvring.

Diagram Akula here.

Photo James Madison class (USBN John C Calhoun) here.

Link to Karen/MFV story here.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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