posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 01:14 AM
This is a pretty cool looking ship!
If you say so. I could say that topfuel dragsters are 'pretty cool' too but as they can't turn a corner, in lane, at a stoplight, they're
worthless for street. Similarly, this boat either has one /monster/ of a deployable keel and active stabilization system, or it's only use is going
to be for the Annapolis rowing competition. It just doesn't have the beam or the draught to be a littoral, let alone blue water asset.
A stealth "PT" boat is what I think it going to be.
ELCO _Patrol Torpedo_ boats were 70-80ft long and deployed 2 to 4 Mk.VII/VIII or XIII torps, each weighing in excess of 1,000lbs and themselves
As such, though really only a 'terrible nuissance' in archipelago type conditions of immediate basing support, they qualify as full combatants
because they trade size for useful range and warload and can be tracked and engaged by either their own or their basing mode facilities
These boats remind me more of the Japanese and German suicide systems intended to defeat major landing operations by burying the system in the chop so
that direct fire mostly passed over and, inside 500yds, the guns could not depress enough to be brought to bear. All for a 1-way assassination
profile that required no 'come back home' compromises in it's hull volume.
All Teeth. No Tail. (No Commitment to ashore-signatured logistical support.)
Similar skiffs have a ram-explosive-on-pole history going back to at least the Civil war and while these were indeed 'torpedo' boats in the original
sense, they were not systems that a major navy would want to invest in because they were easier for an insurgent force to build than a blue water
force to employ.
Indeed, WHY you would want to (proliferate the tech) test such a 'better by U.S.' version of the craft which put a 36ft hole in the Cole?
As a commando delivery vehicle I also have my doubts. It doesn't look like it has the rigid keelboard needed to run it up past the surfzone or
indeed onto a _reef_.
Putting visible light apertures into the hull invites all kinds of ballistic /and/ signature (both IR and RF) compromise. Even as it may effect
watertight safeties should the ship take a heavy wave and roll past the gunnels. Put a fixed camera in the pilot house and perhaps a (beyond Sea
State 2-3) 'backup' on an elevateable mast. Make them as weather proof as you can. Fit a solid unicover on the troop compartment/deckhouse with a
fast erect ballistic/spray screen for firing a popup pintel from the sides and rear in a hostile extract.
And for all other, 'undercover', stealth ops, let the snakeeaters watch a camera relay while puking in a bag like everyone else.
While wake tracking is a valid means of separating the goats from the fish (and the flotsam) it's persistence is what really gets you and here the
ship actually looks like it has some useful features in that the raised and heavily raked bowline should cut a fairly narrow vee (especially if it has
a bullet underneath to preseparate the hydrodynamic air:sea interface) at low planing angles and presented area pressure levels.
Meanwhile, the low above deck silouhette and the generally small hull size of the craft /could/ imply a fairly hefty power to weight ratio. Though a
lot will depend on how far you expect to come, stay and go or if indeed, the thing is supposed to be recovered by running up a corvette wetramp or
even via helo using covered hooks.
I've been in (non-air) swamp boats with a hullform more or less like a Higgins landing craft and a long, elevateable, shaft outboard. Doing
forty-sixty knots, with only the back 1/3rd of the hull 'seated', in-plane, the rooster tail was about 4ft tall while the (deep) separation of the
prop and hull terminus interaction reduced overall wake length to about ten feet and 20 seconds of persistence.
All on about 20 horses.
These are relatively manageable signatures vs. passage interval if your only concern is defeating a standoff coastal surveillance radar or civillian
marine collision avoidance/harbor traffic systems looking for enhancers atop masts.
Of course, Lake Country Lousiana is not apt to throw a six foot swell and twenty foot surf roll either. Which is why I find it particularly ironic
that this ship /looks like/ somebodies Jules Verne disinformation ploy with a Nautilus styled deck layout.
Who is the purchaser? The story really does not say.
I bet its for Israel, and or the US Navy / Marines
I wouldn't want to come ashore in that thing. Too few people for the risk of a contested landing, too many basic seaworthiness and stealth mistakes
for extended penetration of a layered defensive barrier from over the horizon. No ability to fight back from within a 'nominal' LO enclosure.
SDV gives you 100% medium caliber ballistic protection to within about 100yds offshore and can pig a wet insert team to multiple landing points to at
least diffuse the welcoming committee threat without broadsiding the vessel to multiple in-out loops of RF exposure.
If need be, you can even leave it inshore without direct optical/walkon tracking risk.