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.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Engage The Caterpillar Drive

According to this article in The New London Day (annoying registration required after today), Electric Boat won a $20 milllion contract from DARPA to research "shaftless propulsion" for submarines:
"The 18-month contract was awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Electric Boat, one of two defense contractors to compete for the award, will lead a team of smaller companies and academic institutions that will work on the technology that allows a submarine to operate without a propulsion shaft that penetrates its hull.
“This (shaftless propulsion) has a really good shot at being the future of propulsion (for submarines),” said Robert A. Hamilton, the shipyard's spokesman. “We're certainly hopeful.”
Submarines now use a direct-line propulsion shaft to a large propeller.
“This would allow us to put propulsors anywhere on the ship,” Hamilton said. “It allows more options for us in terms of a ship's configuration,” he added.
The EB press release is here. I've always heard rumors that this stuff was possible; it'll be interesting to see what they can come up with. Getting rid of the whole shaft system would really revolutionize submarine design.


Blogger lawhawk said...

.... and pretty soon We'll sail into history...

7/06/2006 7:57 PM

Anonymous EW3 said...

Tango-Bravo has some very interesting (publicly) stated goals. As lawhawk said, if it works out, everything else will be history.
Rumsfeld has been very hot and heavy with new technology. His legacy is going to be long lasting.

7/06/2006 9:06 PM

Blogger jeffox said...

Very interesting concept, but I wonder how achieveable it will be. Not to add too much of a sour note here, but I don't think I need to remind you all that sometimes new techs don't work too well. Remember the Narwhal?

Still, if the bugs can be worked out, i say go for it.

7/06/2006 11:15 PM

Anonymous Brad said...

Does this mean Richard Roundtree won't be allowed on submarines?

7/07/2006 1:09 PM

Blogger Chap said...

Dude. You're going too fantasy on us.

Shaftless propulsion also means "a big honking electric motor outside the people tank".

Much less Popular Science but much more likely to have been seen at things like SubTech.

7/08/2006 8:38 AM

Anonymous Byron Audler said...

"Rumsfeld has been very hot and heavy with new technology. His legacy is going to be long lasting."

Yes, the legacy of the Little Crappy Ship and the San Antonio, which will probably never be up to NAVSEA standards. I hope you folks in the Silent Service get better results from the milcontractors and the bureaucracy.

7/09/2006 10:47 AM

Blogger WillyShake said...

You have seen the future and it is NOW. Kewl.

7/11/2006 7:06 AM


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