Underwater Drones

I remember reading a few years ago about Liquid Robotics ocean traveling wave glider. It used the bouyancy of waves to propel a robot across 9,000 nautical miles in just over a year.  It is a pretty amazing feat. And such technology offers the potential to monitor ocean temperatures, currents, etc

Apparently, the Navy has taken interest and is launching its own “glider” drones. The technology can potentially provide numerous benefits to security and underwater communication. Drones could be equipped to monitor our coastal waters for submarines. They could also be used to relay messages to our submerged subs.

I feel this is a positive expenditure of defense funds. I am very skeptical about the need for a new aircraft carrier. I see little benefit. 5 would do, two in the Pacific, two in the Atlantic, one in the gulf. Maybe 7 if you wanted if you wanted to have two that could patrol the world and rattle our sabers.

But if you ask me what we need. I’d say it’s a small pocket carrier that can support a couple of helicopters and a dozen or so drones. And engage in coastal monitoring and anti-submarine operations. And not for the U.S. Navy but for the U.S. Coast Guard.

USCGC Seminole Drone Carrier

The U.S. Navy needs a submersible carrier that can carry two jumpjets or four helicopters. That would facilitate tactical strikes on sensitive targets. Move in close to shore. Launch SEALS/Marine strike units. Return, land, submerge.  I’ve long thought this a far more useful tool in our present day world than large easily sinkable carriers and surface ships. At times I thought I was asking to much of technology, but I truly felt such a ship design is in fact feasible. And apparently, it was, as Japanese built such designs toward the end of WWII to strike the U.S. mainland. If Japan could do it with WWII technology, I am sure we could implement it far more effectively today.

 

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Published in: on December 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Cool! […]

  2. The small carrier / drone carrier already exists. It is called the LCS (Littorial Combat Ship) and that is what it does; carries airborne, surface and sub-surface drones.

    • Hi Merle,

      Yes and no, they are currently able to handle some of the helicopter drones. And DARPA is looking to incorporate ability for some other drones – TERN project, but that does not exist yet. But mostly it can only handle very light drones. I’m talking larger class A drones. Units with several hundred nautical mile ranges, ability to actively engage targets if necessary. And particularly the ability to handle several drones simultaneously.

      No ship in the U.S. fleet currently is capable of such, except for our carriers.

      This mine detection drone (small boat is a good effort IMHO)
      http://www.businessinsider.com/lcs-uss-independence-gets-new-bigger-drone-and-mine-hunter-escorts-2013-3?op=1


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