Firm claims “dry submersible” emits almost no sound
- By Kris Osborn
- Dec 21, 2016
The U.S. Navy is not commenting on any potential interest in an emerging “dry submersible” propulsion technology that has been demonstrated and tested by a number of DOD organizations.
Greg Sancoff, President and CEO of N.H.-based Juliet Marine Systems, told Defense Systems that its new technology has been engineered to perform multi-mission surface and underwater operations quieter and more effectively than existing platforms. Although assessed by the Office of Naval Research, no contract was awarded, and the company is now demonstrating its technology to a wider group of customers.
Developers said the majority of the engineering for the platform has already been completed, and that the submersible is uniquely configured for ISR, mine-hunting, anti-swarm operations and short-range firepower.
Using a “quieter” electric generator and electric motor, the prototype “Guardian” relies on hybrid-diesel electric propulsion and a 500hp engine to reach littoral areas and other high-risk undersea locations.
“Anything that runs under the water has 900 times more friction than anything that flies through the air.
When you surround an underwater body with bubbles, you can reduce that friction dramatically,” Sancoff said.
Juliet Marine’s “Guardian” is an adaptation of the firm’s surface-oriented “Ghost” vehicle, which uses hydro-dynamic technology to travel at 30 knots on the surface and can also operate underwater. The Guardian uses battery banks to conduct undersea operations with almost no sound, or acoustic signature, Sancoff explained.
It uses a wide range of sensors, infrared night vision, range-finding image magnification radar and collision avoidance technology, developers said.
“We are not a small patrol boat. We develop a unique technology that allows a small craft to ride like a big ship. When we hit a wave with Guardian above water, you don’t even feel it because of the system we have built,” Sancoff said.
The Guardian can operate as both as a drone and manned platform, he added.
Quieter underwater technology of this kind, Sancoff said, could allow the Guardian to perform high-risk, shallow-water missions in strategically vital areas such as the Strait of Hormuz or South China Sea.
Sancoff told Defense Systems that discussions about the platform with DOD and various services are still ongoing but that, thus far, no contracts have been awarded.
However, Sancoff said the prototype vehicle, which has been conducting various demonstrations for about 18 months, has inspired interest from several possible international customers.
Sancoff says the Guardian has generated interest from Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates, and has been demonstrated to several large U.S.-based defense firms as well.
“JMS has no U.S. Navy contract and is open to do business around the world,” company officials stated.
Kris Osborn is a former editor of Defense Systems.