Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Submarine Questions of the Week (5 April 2016)


ASW Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV)
Some of the hype [color emphasis and underline added]: " It was, however, designed to do much more than traverse the oceans at 31mph. ACTUV has the capability to use long/short-range sonar to detect foreign submarines, even stealthy diesel electric ones that don't make noise. It can then follow those submarines around in an effort to spook out their operators and drive them out. If needed, the vessel can also deliver supplies and be sent on reconnaissance missions with absolutely no human on board."

More hype: "Cheap. It should be only 'a fraction' of the size of a diesel sub, and a fraction of a sub's cost as well.  Long-legged. ACTUV will need to range 'thousands of kilometers' across the seas, for 'months' at a time.source

Questions of the Week 

1  -  (see above DARPA photo) How many "contractors" can be seen topside on this "unmanned", surface vessel?
2  - Do stealthy diesel electric subs really make no noise?
3  - Assume an enemy decides to:
  •   a)  Board and strip one of these 130-foot unmanned vessels of sensitive gear, compromise automated systems, hack into encrypted communications, or attach a GPS tracker; besides hesitancy to commit such illegal acts, what techniques could prevent or deter such invasions?
  •   b)  Since the ACTUV is observable from surface ships, patrol craft, surveillance satellites and aircraft including drones/UAVs, why would an enemy hesitate to disable or destroy an ACTUV before its automatic detection and reporting systems ever presented a threat to an important mission in a critical area of operations?
  •  c)   What covert means of disabling ACTUV propulsion could be availed at sea while preserving the anonymnity of the saboteur?
4  -  Name some of the advanced technologies (juicey targets?) announced for ACTUVs.

5  -  "It is intended that ACTUV will operate under minimal supervisory command and control; with shore bases intermittently monitoring performance and providing high-level mission objectives through beyond line-of-sight communications links."  When and where might be the best intended use of ACTUVs?

7  -  The first new "vessel designed to track Chinese and Russian subs is slated to be christened this month" [Thursday, April 7th].  What will be the name of this first ACTUV? 


Submarines are always silent and strange.


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