Ultra-Fast Mini-Sub Travels At 100 Knots
DARPA to begin testing ultra-fast mini-sub...
Turning science fiction in fact once again, DARPA, is ready to begin testing phase of a new ultra-fast mini submarine, capable of traveling at 100 knots.
Currently, the Navy’s fastest submarine can only travel at 25 to 30 knots while fully submerged. But the new sub, dubbed the Underwater Express, will shatter existing speed records.
The DARPA program was first announce in 2006, Electric Boat, the company contracted to develop the sub, are now producing a quarter-scale model to be tested next year off the coast of Rhode Island.
The sub achieves its high speed by utilizing a phenomenon known as supercavitation – a process in which a moving objects travels so fast through water it creates a gas bubble around itself, almost eliminating drag.
By enveloping itself in this gas bubble, the Underwater Express is able to reach speeds otherwise impossible.
Supercavitation is not a new technology, at the end of World War Two, the Soviets succeeded in creating a torpedo that utilizes supercavitation for high-speed travel. But so far, no one has managed to scale the effects up to the size of a submarine.
If everything goes according to plan, Electric Boat will begin assembly on a full-sized 100ft long Underwater Express.
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