Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/01/05

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Subject: Re: M6 Titanium
From: Mark Bergman <>
Date: Sun, 05 Jan 1997 00:07:54 -0800

Speaking as an engineer who worked for the US Navy in the submarine

Titanium (besides being strong) is non-magnetic.  The US was (is) big in
sub detection and one very good method to detect things underwater is
magnetic detection of steel hulls.  

Cost is not a problem (esp. in a dictatorship) for the military.

Manufacturing titanium hulls is (welding is a mjor problem).  If memory
serves me the Russians built one maybe two ships.  Wouldn't want to take
a dive in the North Atlantic in them <G>.

Our ships don't rust either (we paint them).  Believe me when I say we
knew what the Russian had (though it may not have been public
consumption) thanks to some dockyard workers.
Craig W. Shier wrote:
> The Soviet Alpha class was made of titanium.  They made very few due to high cost, although if you consult Jane's, you'll find it had excellent operating  characteristics.  The rumor I heard as to how we found out it was titanium is that the lead ship was pulled out of the water and left on the dock for several years.  Intel photos showed no rust.
> The moral of the Alpha is that you can spend a lot of rubles overdesigning one aspect of a product and end up with something that costs a lot more than
> it is
> worth.