07 October 2008

Flying Submersible Meant for Covert Ops

The proposed DARPA craft is supposed to carry 8 operators and equipment for a total payload of 2000 pounds. It is to fly 1000 nautical miles, travel 100 miles on the surface, then go submerged for 12 miles.
* Flight: The minimal required airborne tactical radius of the sub-plane is 1000 nautical miles (nm). The minimum surface tactical radius is 100 nautical miles. The minimum subsurface tactical range is 12 nautical miles. Note that the ranges quoted are one-way ranges. The platform would need to be able to fly to a location, insert and extract personnel without refueling and this would require the total operational range to be 1000 nm airborne, 200 nm surface, 24 nm under water.
* Loiter: The platform should be capable of loitering in a sea-state five, in theater between inserting and extracting personnel for up to 3 days (72 hours). The craft does not need to be submerged during loitering operations; it can operate at the surface.
* Payload: The platform should be capable of transporting 8 operators, as well as all of their equipment, with a total cargo weight of 2000 pounds.
* Depth: The operating depth of the platform will be constrained by balancing the need to reduce depth in order to minimize structural loads and snorkel complexity with the need to increase depth in order to minimize any potential signatures that could be generated by perturbing the free surface. The effect that the submerged platform will have on the free surface is exponentially proportional to the depth, therefore the platform should be able to operate at a relatively shallow depth and only have the snorkel affect the free surface.
* Speed: The speed of the platform in each mode of operation must allow the system to complete a tactical transit (1000 nm airborne,100 nm surface ,12 nm sub-surface) trip in less than 8 hours. This 8 hour time must include any time required by the platform to reconfigure between modes of operation.
These requirements are a tall order, and engineers will need to pull several rabbits out of several other rabbits pulled from hats, before achieving these goals. Still, this is precisely the type of vehicle that I am looking for. Except, I am looking for a flight range of over 1500 nautical miles, an unlimited surface range when rigged for sail, and a submerged range of roughly 300 nautical miles. Finding a propulsion system with the proper energy/power densities may delay the launch date somewhat. ;-)


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Blogger yamahaeleven said...

Where's Richard Basehart?

Wednesday, 08 October, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Basehart is coordinating the air, sea, and undersea attack on your current location.

Wednesday, 08 October, 2008  

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