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D’oh!!!

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Less than ideal time for this to happen:

The Royal Navy hastened to assemble an official inquiry Friday evening to explore why Britain’s newest nuclear submarine, H.M.S. Astute, ran aground while undergoing sea trials off the coast of northwest Scotland on Friday morning and remained stuck on a bank of sand and shingle for nearly 10 hours before a tug pulled it free at nightfall. A spokesman for the Royal Navy said divers would be deployed at first light on Saturday to check concerns that the submarine’s rudder had been damaged.

The episode was particularly embarrassing for the navy because the vessel, one of the most technologically advanced submarines in the world, was designed for maximum stealth and use in such delicate operations as delivering special forces troops secretly and eavesdropping off the coasts of hostile nations. Its design features and propulsion mechanisms are considered top secret, naval experts said, but both were on display during the grounding.

Galrahn has some more detailed and productive thoughts about the incident.

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