Underwater Warpdrives
April 26, 2001 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Underwater Warpdrives Some naval experts believe that supercavitating systems could alter the nature of undersea warfare, changing stealthy cat-and-mouse stalking contests between large submarines into something resembling aerial combat, featuring noisy high-speed dogfights among small, short-range "subfighters" shooting underwater bullets at one another after having been launched from giant "subcarriers."
posted by hmgovt (22 comments total)
Darwin has so much more power today than we realize...
posted by holloway at 6:28 AM on April 26, 2001

Not that I expect them to give a damn, but I wonder what kind of environmental impact this technology will have. Impacts with animals aside, shockwaves and turbulence could be brutal. This isn't the same as flying.
posted by gimli at 6:38 AM on April 26, 2001

I'm looking forward to seeing Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in "Top Gun: Underseas".
posted by starvingartist at 6:51 AM on April 26, 2001

OK, I haven't slept much. As a result, my usual pacifist leanings are buried a bit, and I can honestly say that this sounds really cool.

Reminds me a bit of that one GI JOE vehicle that was really cool. I can't remember what it was called - it was that boxy looking white plane/submarine thing. It could literally fly out of the water, and dive into the sea without skipping a beat. Not often featured on the television show, the toy itself made for hours of fun in the bathtub. Anyone remember what it was called?
posted by aladfar at 6:51 AM on April 26, 2001

gimli's right. this can't happen. i've been searching in vain for an npr (i think) story recently on the effect of naval activities on a certain species of whales. anyone else hear it?

the impact on ocean fauna would be absolutely devastating. i can't imagine this program would last once animals start washing up on shore by the hundreds.
posted by jpoulos at 6:58 AM on April 26, 2001

aladfar - I believe that would be the S.H.A.R.C.. Amazing what you can find on the web. I'm going to go look at all the old G.I. Joe vehicles now. No more work for me today!
posted by starvingartist at 7:00 AM on April 26, 2001

damn, what was the name of toy?

. . .and knowing's half the battle. Yo Joe!

sorry, reverted for a bit.
posted by SentientAI at 7:00 AM on April 26, 2001

This sucks, at least leave the water for the fishes
posted by mohican at 7:49 AM on April 26, 2001

jpoulos: a short time ago there was an article that indicated that the navy use of sonar was causing harm to dophins and whales. I do not recall where I had seen this report however.
posted by Postroad at 7:56 AM on April 26, 2001

There was a television report on the sonar blasts which killed whales in some straights off of Miami... it was Nova or FrontLine or 60 Minutes. I've searched their sites, though, and can't find it listed. *grumble*
posted by silusGROK at 9:06 AM on April 26, 2001

Mohican, you rock.
posted by Mocata at 9:16 AM on April 26, 2001

Regardless of the final outcome of this project, I still think the the whole concept behind this is just, well... cool.
posted by TractorInc at 9:44 AM on April 26, 2001

S.H.A.R.C? Pfaugh. In my day we had the Flying Sub! I thought it was ridiculous even as a kid, but today I recognize it as a prettified version of a lifting body.

In any event, dogfights might still be a problematic issue -- there's that tough visualization problem -- but I could certainly see this revolutionizing underwater strategic defense. Right now much of our nuclear policy rests on the near-invulnerability of our submarine fleet. Notably, one of the key reasons we were said to be running those coastal China "spy" flights was to keep tabs on Chinese submarines, which are also rumored to be difficult for our subs to track. (I'm doubtful that China is close to supercavitation yet, though; they've only recently begun to build a strategic navy.)
posted by dhartung at 10:37 AM on April 26, 2001

I want an underwater car. I was going to link to the Spy Kids car, but…www.spykids.com = Flash hell.
posted by rodii at 11:10 AM on April 26, 2001

Oh, forgot: here's another supercavitation article.
posted by rodii at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2001

Starvingartist, I am in your debt. The SHARC was without doubt the coolest vehicle ever produced for Government Issued Joe. I remember it came with a special figure who was the pilot. So cool.
posted by aladfar at 12:12 PM on April 26, 2001

Yes, that's a cool link Starvingartist. when I first saw aladfar's post I put this on the scanner.

GI JOE was such a great cartoon, but despite the fact that COBRA soldiers couldn't ever seem to hit anything, they had this amazing ability to exit their vehicle right before it was destroyed EVERY time. In fact, I'm sure that COBRA's forces consisted of only a handful of Houdini protégés.

I'm sure GI JOE inspired the A-Team with their ability to fire endlessly without ever hitting a single person.
posted by john at 2:54 PM on April 26, 2001

Hint to John: the other slash. Here is the corrected link.

Now that i've beat you up for the broken link, I have to say that is a pretty excellent 404 page you have there, dude.
posted by kindall at 3:43 PM on April 26, 2001

Once again it it shown that HTML in not my native tongue.

"I only speak two languages. Good english and bad english." - Bruce Willis as Corbin Dallas in The 5th Element

Really, I'm in such a silly mood and was wondering where all the Seattle mefi members went after I posted my little Douglas Adams reference(it was the 42nd post).
posted by john at 5:14 PM on April 26, 2001

This is quite old.. =)
posted by ellis at 10:45 PM on April 26, 2001

The action figure that came with the S.H.A.R.C. was called Deep Six. He was neat because he came with a pump that you could use to make him dive and do whatever the opposite of dive is. However, only his arms moved.

More on topic, reading the article I got the feeling that (the Russian Squall thing aside) this was a lot like superconductors in that it has a very strong "if-we-could-do-this-it-would-change-everything-but-we-are-nowhere-near-able-to-make-this-technology-practical" type of feeling. Anybody else get the same vibe?
posted by chiheisen at 11:21 PM on April 26, 2001

Not the best name for a guy that spends his time at sea. Sort of like calling a pilot Crash & Burn...A race car driver Twisted Metal...a porn star VD...
posted by john at 2:01 AM on April 27, 2001

« Older RoboHitler?   |   The Webby Awards List is up... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments