Navy weapons developers are seeking a high-tech, longer range and more lethal submarine-launched heavyweight Mk 48 that can better destroy enemy ships, submarines and small boats, service officials said. The service has issued a new solicitation to industry, asking for proposals and information related to pursuing new and upgraded Mk 48 torpedo control systems, guidance, sonar and navigational technology. "The Mk 48 ADCAP (advanced capability) torpedo is a heavyweight acoustic-homing torpedo with sophisticated sonar, all-digital guidance and control systems, digital fusing systems and propulsion improvements," William Couch, Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman, told Warrior Maven. Naturally, having a functional and more high-tech lethal torpedo affords the Navy an opportunity to hit enemies more effectively and at further standoff ranges and therefore better compete with more fully emerging undersea rivals such as Russia and China. The Mk 48 heavyweight torpedo is used by all classes of U.S. Navy submarines as their anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare weapon, including the Virginia class and the future Columbia class, Couch added.
Three Dutch World War Two ships considered war graves have vanished from the bottom of the Java Sea, the Dutch defence ministry says. All three were sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942, and their wrecks were discovered by divers in 2002. But a new expedition to mark next year's 75th anniversary of the battle has found the wrecks are missing. A report in the Guardian says three British ships have disappeared as well. The Guardian says it has seen 3D images showing large holes in the seabed where HMS Exeter, HMS Encounter, the destroyer HMS Electra, as well as a US submarine, used to be.
Star Trek-style invisibility cloaks are a step closer to becoming reality after scientists developed a material that could make submarines invisible to sonar detectors. The invention deflects sound waves without echoing them back meaning sonar equipment cannot detect it. The device could lead to military submarines that are invisible to enemy sonar, paving the way for an invisibility cloak that deflects light like the device used by the Starship Enterprise spacecraft in the Star Trek film and TV franchise. Radar-evading stealth aircraft are a fixture of the world's air forces but until now underwater craft able to hide from sonar have proved elusive. Researchers developed the new material and incorporated it into a three-foot high prototype (pictured).
The British Navy has fired its first torpedo using a radical new'brain' fitted to a nuclear submarine. The Royal Navy's latest and most advanced Astute class submarine, Artful, used the Common Combat System for the first time. It is the first to use this new technology which is now being retrofitted to earlier Astute class submarines. The new system, provided by VMware, Dell and Aish, processes information from submarine sensors to enable crew members to make important command decisions. It was used during the test to interpret sonar readings and then attack a moving target with a practice weapon.
The Virginia-class, nuclear-powered, fast-attack submarine, USS North Dakota (SSN 784), transits the Thames River as it pulls into its homeport on Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn - file photo. Bringing massive amounts of firepower closer to enemy targets, conducting clandestine "intel" missions in high threat waters and launching undersea attack and surveillance drones are all anticipated missions for the Navy's emerging Block V Virginia-class attack submarines. The boats, nine of which are now surging ahead through a new developmental deal between the Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat, are reshaping submarine attack strategies and concepts of operations -- as rivals make gains challenging U.S. undersea dominance. Eight of the new 22-billion Block V deal are being engineered with a new 80-foot weapons sections in the boat, enabling the submarine to increase its attack missile capacity from 12 to 40 on-board Tomahawks. "Block V Virginias and Virginia Payload Module are a generational leap in submarine capability for the Navy," Program Executive Officer for Submarines Rear Adm. David Goggins, said in a Navy report.