Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lots of Submarine News Today...

...and me without time to do much in the way of commenting this morning. (We're preparing to take our oldest off to college tomorrow, so we're all rushing around, with Mom and Dad trying to find things through the haze of tears.) Check out Rontini's daily SONAR brief; you'll find new information on the Tango Bravo (the next generation submarine), an article on how the Navy is using our ASW "expertise" to track merchant ships, and a couple of articles on our plans to use the Swedish submarine HMS Gotland to help train our forces to work against quiet diesel boats. One quick snarky comment on the Tango Bravo article: It says that "EB was awarded... $6.3 million to look at shaftless propulsion, which most experts expect will use electric motors instead of a mechanical turbine and propeller system."

Do ya think? (Actually, I know a little bit about this initiative, so I won't be able to comment that much. I will be able to tell you to ignore people who think it'll be just like the "Red October"'s "caterpillar drive".)

Going deep...

5 Comments:

Anonymous Gunner said...

Interestingly enough, I sailed on a merchant tanker, SS Concho, in 1995 as a merchant midshipman. She was steam powered, but instead of the steam turbine turning a reduction gear, it was used to produce electricity (DC, IIRC), when was then used to run the motors that turned the shaft.

The neat part was that you could adjust prop speed quickly, easily, and smoothly, unlike other steam ships I had sailed on. You could even reverse the prop without stopping it first, just by reversing the polarity of the power going to the motors. Meanwhile, the steam plant just kept chugging along at the same settings. I don't remember all the details (I was a deckie, not an engineer), but it seemed like a nice setup, and a lot less work for the engineers over a traditional steam plant setup...

Concho was built during WWII as a T-2, and, again IIRC, she was designed that way because all the reduction gears were going to the combatant ships, and they were looking for a way to get merchant ships in the water quickly, without waiting for the precision work necessary.

The setup isn't as efficient as a turbine/reduction gear setup, so that's why you don't see it, but it's not exactly a "new" idea. Maybe with new technology, the inefficiencies can be reduced...

6/21/2005 9:52 AM

 
Blogger ninme said...

Caterpillar drive? I know not of what you speak.

6/21/2005 12:44 PM

 
Anonymous bullnav said...

Ninme, take a look at Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October (either the movie or book) for a description of the caterpillar drive...basically it was a tunnel along the side of the ship that was used to propel it through the water. It has been a long time since I saw the movie so I don't remember all the details.

6/21/2005 1:37 PM

 
Blogger ninme said...

I've seen the movie, I just wasn't paying that much attention to the finer details of submarine engineering. Is that... the one... Like the side air intakes on a Ferrari? That sort of thing? I can't visualize it.

6/21/2005 4:11 PM

 
Blogger half said...

Seems like there was a class of battleships (California?, New Mexico?) that had turbo electric drive.

6/22/2005 6:55 AM

 

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