Monday, August 04, 2008

The 'Littorals' - Part 2 - Submarines and NASDS

Last month M.E. posted The 'Littorals' - Part 1 - Submarines and Surface Craft, noting that SSNs and SSGNs are littoral combat ships in every sense of the word short of directly landing troops or SEALS. SSNs and SSGNs can piggyback SEAL delivery vehicles, however.

The Advanced Seal Delivery Sysytem (ASDS) was designed for stealthy long-range insertion of Special Operations Forces on covert or clandestine missions. Previous mini-subs were wet types, exposing Combat Swimmers to hypothermia during long, relatively slow transits and their electronic equipment to salty moisture that could degrade combat readiness.

Is it expecting too much for our SEALs to have something like this (vacuum vapor deposition) polymer coating protecting their sensitive equipment? Amazing video:

From waterproof coatings to landings...

Do you know why submarines carry ASDSs with props aft (Navy photo)? Are you certain that launching is the reason? Have you thought about the recovery process (docking)? What if the ASDS were propelled silently with the fast and efficient swimming motion of an ocean fish? Hmmm!

Publicly, the ASDSs were withdrawn from production for excessive costs and critical flaws. GlobalSecurity lists inadequate battery, propellor and other noise impediments to stealth requirements. The RoboTuna swims (no prop noises) and goes farther and faster on a standard battery charge.

Curiously, the RoboTuna (video linked here) has the potential to eliminate all of those issues in a fuel efficient, fast, and silent AUV system with which the Navy has announced its desire to build a new submarine. Is the new sub the Navy has in mind an ASDV ( NASDV )?
Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 10 August, 2008 19:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess this one is well suited to older submarines , because Littoral combat submarines should be able to insert SEALs closer their is no long transit times that requires such dry types swimmers.

At 11 August, 2008 12:15, Blogger Vigilis said...

Strategos, we expect the criteria would be dependent upon each mission (some requiring prolonged, close-in loitering), or the actual insertion location rather than submarine vintage.

Your point is taken, for instance, only if comparing drafts of SSN-21 and VA class subs. But your point fails when comparing drafts of even older Los Angeles class subs to the Virginia class subs.


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