Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday Submarine Tidbits 26MAR16

Recently noted curiousities of a submarine variety (formerly "Tuesday Tidbits"). Color emphasis by M.E.

New this month to the general public's attention  ...  

#  1

7 Apr 2016 -   DARPA’s Sea Hunter

Rachel Courtland's linked article in the IEEE's Spectrum updates ME's Submarine Questions of the Week (5 APRIL 2016).

Key points previously undisclosed:
  • The 132-foot-long (full-scale) prototype is diesel-powered.
  • The joint project with the U.S. Office of Naval Research, was originally conceived as a tracker of stealthy diesel-electric submarines, but it’s a flexible platform. “What we’ve kind of realized over the course of the program is that it’s a truck,” program manager Scott Littlefield tells IEEE Spectrum. “It’s got lots of payload capacity for a variety of different missions.
  • Unmanned ships are nothing new. They can, for example, be launched far from shore off a larger vessel and controlled remotely by a human operator. But this arrangement places constraints on the size of such a ship, and its range as well, since it can only carry so much fuel.
Readers may note as this one recently did an apparent contradiction in Sea Hunter's diesel-propulsion (first bullet) and its implied (last bullet) capability of extended range WITHOUT FUEL CONSTRAINTS.  Has the claimed harnessing of fuel from seawater (see earlier posting) been achieved?  Has a more efficient electric fuel cell with a high capacity energy section been discovered?  If either were so, no military in its right mind would dare facilitate related technology theft by installing such state-of-the-art gizmos aboard unmanned vessels.
In M.E's opinion, such hype is appropriate only for inexpensive decoy vessels. 

# 2

20 April 2016 - Why has Russia boosted submarine patrols?
  • Russian submarines and spy ships operate near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some U.S. military and intelligence officials that the Russians could attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.
  • Russia is also building an undersea unmanned drone capable of carrying a small, tactical nuclear weapon to use against harbors or coastal areas, U.S. military and intelligence analysts said. 

# 3

25 Apr 2016 -  Capacity needed to preemptively strike N.K. submarine’s undersea attacks

"If international sanctions fail to lead Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons, South Korea could ultimately face a situation wherein it must take a decisive military action.   ...  If we are to enlighten Kim Jong Un from his irrational dream revealed in a speech to the U.N. by North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong, who said the North will smile ultimately, the South has no other choice but to arm itself with self-defense capability that is completely dominant over Pyongyang."

Submarines are always silent and strange. 

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