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RPG Attack On LNG Tanker

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

RPG Attack On LNG Tanker

Unread postby sparky » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 06:28:04

.
what mischief can one do with an RPG rocket laucher and a LNG tanker ?
from Reuters news agency
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen ... SKCN12Q1UQ

"Gas tanker attacked near key shipping lane off Yemen"
there are a few "strategic "naval choke points"
Ormuz is the most critical , Panama , Suez , Malacca are pretty big
Bab al Mandeb control the seaways to the Suez , for Qatar ships it is a necessary passage ,going around the cape would seriously impact the transport cost .
P.S. in Arabic it means "the gate of tears" from all the African slaves passing through all the centuries to be sold on the Middle East markets
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 07:21:19

I can't say for sure but I don't think an RPG would do much damage. I'm assuming those pressure vessels, the tanks, are built to withstand a lot of pressure and are pretty secure.

An anti-tank missles at close range or some anti-ship missles with at our piercing heads might be a different story.

Did you follow the recent events where a USA donated SA ship was attacked and rendered worthless? That was an aluminum hull with lots of fire damage but it didn't sink.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 07:37:24

There are ways to make an LNG tanker into a high yield fuel-air bomb, but they would take extensive modifications to the ship itself and lots of low yield explosives to spread the fuel before igniting same. Frankly, it is much more likely that you would spark a big, intense fire, that spread over the surface waters for a mile or so, but soon goes out. An adequate safeguard against this, is to have offshore facilities to load and unload the LNG tanker at each end, and to never bring it into a populated area when full of LNG.

The more likely source of a major explosion would be a tanker full of refined diesel fuel or gasoline, especially the former. For a high yield fuel-air explosion, you want a fuel that resists ignition just long enough to spread before the secondary ignition. But fortunately for the developed countries, the countries of the Middle East bombed each other's refineries into rubble decades ago. This forced us to ship crude petroleum overseas to refineries in other countries. That turned out to be overall a good thing, else we might already have had several tankers of refined fuels explode. Crude is not especially dangerous or usable as a fuel-air explosive.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 08:02:05

An RPG with an armor piercing snapped charge would likely penetrate an LNG tank. But that wouild actually be overkill, so to speak. An odd thing about NG most don't realize: 100% NG isn't even flammable let alone explosive. Why? Can't ignite without enough O2. Long ago read that THE most explosive gas mixture is 12% methane and 88% air. Which is why you see houses blown to bits by a NG leak: the NG has to disburse thru the structure until its concentration is low enough to explode.

Not an expert of course but a better plan to hit an LNG tanker might be a number of 50 cal armor tipped rounds to get a good leak going. Then wait for the LNG to regas and disburse. Then all you'll need is a tracer round to set it off. At that point you've produced the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal...a fuel-air or thermobaric bomb. IOW to
create the most powerful conventional bomb with just a few heavy caliber rounds is all one needs:

"A thermobaric weapon is a type of explosive that utilizes oxygen from the surrounding air to generate an intense, high-temperature explosion, and in practice the blast wave typically produced by such a weapon is of a significantly longer duration than a conventional condensed explosive. The fuel-air bomb is one of the most well-known types of thermobaric weapons.

Most conventional explosives consist of a fuel-oxidizer premix (gunpowder, for example, contains 25% fuel and 75% oxidizer), whereas thermobaric weapons are almost 100% fuel, so thermobaric weapons are significantly more energetic than conventional condensed explosives of equal weight. Their reliance on atmospheric oxygen makes them unsuitable for use underwater, at high altitude, and in adverse weather. They do, however, cause considerably more destruction when used inside confined environments, such as foxholes, tunnels, bunkers, and caves—partly due to the sustained blast wave, and partly by consuming the available oxygen inside. Thermobaric weapons have the longest sustained blast wave and most destructive force of any known explosive, excluding nuclear weapons."

And that, children, ends our terrorist training class for the day. LOL.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 11:32:59

Google the phrase "boat propane explosion" gander at the images.

It's why I cook with kerosene/parrafin, old school but nearly idiot proof.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 12:09:19

Newfie wrote:Google the phrase "boat propane explosion" gander at the images.

It's why I cook with kerosene/parrafin, old school but nearly idiot proof.


Just remember every time they make something idiot proof another more idiotic person arrives and proves they can still hurt themselves.

The thing about Propane and Butane stoves is both gasses are heavier than air. On a boat that means leaked gas accumulbates in the bilges until something sets it off.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 16:47:31

The USCG has standards for ventilating the belowdecks area of a boat with a gasoline engine. These include fans and circuits with explosion proof switches and relays. However, there just is no excuse for having such a boat, unless you are racing it and can benefit from the lighter-than-diesel gas engine. Really, get a diesel, which fuel does not produce explosive vapors.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 16:57:48

KaiserJeep wrote:There are ways to make an LNG tanker into a high yield fuel-air bomb, but they would take extensive modifications to the ship itself and lots of low yield explosives to spread the fuel before igniting same. Frankly, it is much more likely that you would spark a big, intense fire, that spread over the surface waters for a mile or so, but soon goes out. An adequate safeguard against this, is to have offshore facilities to load and unload the LNG tanker at each end, and to never bring it into a populated area when full of LNG.

The more likely source of a major explosion would be a tanker full of refined diesel fuel or gasoline, especially the former. For a high yield fuel-air explosion, you want a fuel that resists ignition just long enough to spread before the secondary ignition. But fortunately for the developed countries, the countries of the Middle East bombed each other's refineries into rubble decades ago. This forced us to ship crude petroleum overseas to refineries in other countries. That turned out to be overall a good thing, else we might already have had several tankers of refined fuels explode. Crude is not especially dangerous or usable as a fuel-air explosive.


Heck an old WW I French 75mm artillery piece would fit on just about any 10-15 foot boat. Aimed flat forward over the bow the helmsman only needs to point the boat at the target ship while the two or three artillery dudes load and fire shells. Its kind of amazing nobody has done it yet, we are talking about people who voluntarily strap on a bomb vest and blown themselves up to kill people. I reckon you could probably do the deed with an 1860's level of technology cannon that fired alternating base fuse shells and incendiaries. Everyone wants to play with high tech RPG's when you are basically talking about piercing a pressurized metal balloon filled with a liquefied gas. A couple three foot holes and the liquid methane will gas out, hit the warm water and vaporize making a very flammable interface area. Light that on fire and the radiant heat keeps vaporizing more and more of the liquid until the feed back loop goes boom!
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 17:26:16

Heck T...still overkill. LOL. As I said a 50 cal is more then enough. And cheaper and more portable...the bullpup version is only 45" long. And you can buy it and the ammo on line:

Barrett has been an iconic symbol of strength and precision since the inception of their most renowned rifle, the 50 caliber shoulder fired semi-automatic Barrett 82A1. In 1982 when Ronnie Barrett introduced the first shoulder-fired .50 cal rifle system, he brought forth a new kind of weapons platform that combined the immense power of the .50 BMG round with a precision and size that allowed it to be utilized by the common foot soldier. Since then Barrett has grown their rifle line to include precision rifles in a multitude of calibers and action types. The Barrett M95 offers the power of the .50 cal in a bulpup bolt action design. This allows the user the ability to have a full length 29" barrel in a compact 45" overall rifle length.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby toolpush » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 19:23:37

Rockman,

Your .50 cal in the correct orientation, having the leak burning under/against a second LNG tank on the tanker, could create a BLEVE. Then we could have a real explosion. Just need quite a few things to line up. Hard to plan but always happens when least expected.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 19:44:34

So does anyone know for a fact what the thickness is of one of these tanks? What grade metal?
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 19:55:02

I would prefer not to discuss ways and means of blowing up LNG tankers. There is no point in stimulating a terrorist to new deeds, IMHO.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 20:32:27

I don't know that we are stimulating anyone here. More like trying to evaluate the risk.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 20:46:41

Heck T...still overkill. LOL. As I said a 50 cal is more then enough. And cheaper and more portable...the bullpup version is only 45" long. And you can buy it and the ammo on line:

Barrett has been an iconic symbol of strength and precision since the inception of their most renowned rifle, the 50 caliber shoulder fired semi-automatic Barrett 82A1. In 1982 when Ronnie Barrett introduced the first shoulder-fired .50 cal rifle system, he brought forth a new kind of weapons platform that combined the immense power of the .50 BMG round with a precision and size that allowed it to be utilized by the common foot soldier. Since then Barrett has grown their rifle line to include precision rifles in a multitude of calibers and action types. The Barrett M95 offers the power of the .50 cal in a bulpup bolt action design. This allows the user the ability to have a full length 29" barrel in a compact 45" overall rifle length.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby dissident » Fri 28 Oct 2016, 20:50:12

Newfie wrote:So does anyone know for a fact what the thickness is of one of these tanks? What grade metal?


Not thick enough to stop any high calibre gun let alone an armour piercing RPG round. Oil tanker hulls are at most 1 inch thick or 25.4 mm. A 30 mm round could easily penetrate this thickness from 500 meters away. The LNG tanks do not use steel that is much thicker than 1 inch. The whole point of spending energy to cool the CH4 is to reduce its vapour pressure so that it can be treated like a fluid and stored in basically regular steel tanks. The CH4 is not liquefied by compression and if one could warm it up enough in one of those LNG tanks, the tank would be shredded like wet paper as the CH4 gas would explosively (no combustion) erupt.
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Re: I wonder what it would look like ?

Unread postby sparky » Sat 29 Oct 2016, 02:01:05

.
the bog standard RPG , thirty years old model and plentiful on the world black markets ,
penetrate 5 inches of armor easily tankers walls are barely one inch
it would penetrate like a knife through a paper sheet making a smallish hole .
they are pre-set for their warhead to explode anyway at 1200m , somewhat less than a mile

rockman is correct that for an explosion to occur one must deal with the proper mixure
the lower explosive mixture is the minimum fuel present
the higher explosive mixture is the minimum of oxygen present
those number are different for various gases

LNG would vent through the hole , the decompression is strongly endothermic , even under the Arabian sun it would freeze everything around the escaping hole but create a large cloud of combustible mixure.
it take about ten second to reload the RPG launcher
a second shot would them create some interesting side effects , the cloud would probably ignite in a fireball
probably destroying the attacking vessel and creating a situation for the tanker

so much for the mechanics

the political effects would be much worst
this LNG would probably be from Qatar , the biggest LNG exporter , main supplier for the European area
shipping insurance would jump , re- routing around the Cape not only would increase the shipping cost but it would decrease the turnover of the tankers I.E. less cargoes delivered

Of course the Russians would be very sad , I'm sure there would be a fair bit of moral support for Qatar
but the Al Thani family are strong supporter of various jihadists groups and the traditional enemy of the Saudi family
so the sad smiles would be for facade only
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