WASHINGTON, (BM) – The U.S. Department of Defense Analytical Center recommended that the U.S. Navy purchase 50 giant unmanned submarines to protect against potential threats, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The story began a year ago, in February 2019, when the U.S. Navy signed a contract with a Boeing company to develop and create four ultra-large unmanned submarines for conducting exercises and determining the tactical capabilities of drones.
Apparently, the tests were successful, since the command recommended the purchase of a whole fleet of unmanned submarines XLUUV.
Submarines XLUUV – a fully autonomous ship without a crew. The mass of the submarine is 50 tons. The drone is equipped with a diesel – electric engine with the possibility of autonomous operation in the underwater position for up to several months. The maximum range of up to 12,000 kilometers. The maximum diving depth is up to 3 kilometers. The maximum speed of movement is up to 15 kilometers per hour.
The carrying capacity of an unmanned submarine is 8 tons. To accommodate various cargoes there is a cargo compartment, as well as external fasteners on the body.
The main tasks for which a submarine can be used are:
- Conducting covert surveillance of enemy objects, ships and submarines. For this, the XLUUV submarine is equipped with a heavy-duty sonar and satellite communications system;
- A system for launching torpedoes of various classes up to 48 pieces can be installed in the cargo compartment of a boat;
- The unmanned XLUUV submarine can drop various cargoes, including anti-ship mines.
- In the surface position, the submarine can be used to launch missiles.
- In the underwater position, the boat can be used for covert clearance.
The estimated cost of an unmanned submarine is 580 million dollars apiece. In the application for production will be added the ability to launch nuclear missiles. The US Navy plans to use unmanned submarines not only in single missions, but also to escort aircraft carriers.
The United States has long been working in the field of unmanned underwater vehicles
As we reported on April 15 Russian submarines may face the unpleasant surprise that the US fleet is preparing for them.
American experts have stated that at the moment, the US Navy is developing an innovative technology for protecting warships from enemy submarines. The new concept involves the use of special unmanned vehicles that will set traps in the form of anti-submarine mines.
“The Pentagon is concerned about the capabilities of sophisticated Russian and Chinese submarines scouring the seas,” American journalists say.
Representatives of the U.S. Navy emphasize that the current arsenal of weapons is not enough to deal with such dangerous opponents. According to Captain Chris Mervyn, the fleet has at its disposal conventional mines and anti-submarine bombs, but the future lies with unmanned technology.
It is planned that the US Navy will receive the first prototypes of a new anti-submarine weapon already in 2021. A huge bet is being made on these technologies; they are called upon to change the concept of conducting submarine warfare.
According to the authors of Breaking Defense, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US military leadership began to pay insufficient attention to the development of means of combating Russian submarines.
Russia is also making progress in this area
According several publications, Moscow has an intercontinental autonomous torpedo “Poseidon” with a nuclear power plant and a nuclear warhead. It is often called a drone, but this is not so: the device is designed for a one-way route. In addition, he does not have the characteristics that are necessary for submarines to perform ordinary operations.
In addition to Poseidon, in Russia there is an autonomous atomic turbine generator designed to supply electricity to the infrastructure located at the bottom of the sea. Specialists of the Malachite Design Bureau proposed to install this generator on conventional submarines.
Such a “serving submarine” will have its own team, which will perform other tasks. At the same time, the device itself and its propulsion system will be fully automatic.
Also, as we reported on June 10 the Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering Rubin is considering the creation of a global network of submarine and surface autonomous uninhabited vehicles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles for large-scale scientific research.
“In the long run, the bureau specialists have outlined the creation of a global network consisting of a large number of underwater deep-sea vehicles, light-class AUVs, gliders, underwater lighting equipment, UAVs, communication equipment and other components providing for large-scale scientific and research missions,” Vilnit said.
In the near future, there will be a deep integration of robotic means with various classes of carriers – submarines, surface ships providing ships.
“When creating marine robotic systems, various methods and devices for the interaction of vehicles with various types of carriers of both underwater and surface class are also being developed,” the Rubin general director explained.
GD already released an autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in September last year General Dynamics Mission Systems unveiled the new Bluefin-12 autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle at Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019.
This new vehicle builds upon the proven Bluefin autonomy and uses shared Bluefin Robotics’ core capabilities, increased mission modularity and embedded intelligence to complete users’ long endurance, high-consequence and changing missions.
The base Bluefin-12’s extended modularity supports the integration of user-designated sensors and payloads to deliver new mission-critical capabilities.
The Bluefin Robotics core autonomy with Standard Payload Interfaces (SPI), open-architecture compatibility and greater than 4,000 cubic centimeter-payload section supports the rapid integration of sensors and payload needed for the successful completion of new missions.
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