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Friday, September 9, 2016

It's all wet and futuristic


Abeille Bourbon underway in heavy seas off Brittany, in the Raz de Sein, a passage at the northern tip of the Bay of Biscay that is notorious for its violent seas and strong currents.


The US Navy's most futuristic ship headed out to sea on Monday for the first time as it takes on sea trials under the command of Navy Capt. James Kirk. The USS Zumwalt will be the most advanced, and the largest, destroyer-class ship ever built for the US Navy.

Its radical design is intended to make the ship able to slice through the water quietly with minimal crew, while still being able to outgun any potential opponents it could encounter.

Sea Jet is a 133 foot long scale model of a future warship designed by the U.S. Navy. The model boasts the water jet system, AWJ-21, developed by Rolls Royce Naval Marine corporation. The tests of an all water jet propulsion system, which will replace the conventional rudders and (screw) propeller completely, will be carried out in the Idaho lake. After the AWJ-21 tests are finished, the water jet system will be withdrawn, and another new propulsion system, RIMJET (a conventional propeller mounted in a pod that is placed outside the ship), installed and tested. The U.S. Navy aims to determine, whether the new systems will make the ships quieter and more agile in coastal waters. Building all electric ships is planned within the next decade.

The Short Life Of The Kri Klewang

Indonesia's first of four planned X3Ks was called the Kri Klewang, which is the Indonesian name for a traditional long sharp sword, and was officially launched in August of 2012. The X3K infused vinylester carbon fibre foam sandwich structure allowed for ease of construction, corrosion resistance, light-weight and high-strength, and it was especially useful when it came to dampening the ship's radar, thermal, magnetic and acoustic signature. All of which add up to reduced detectability and enhanced survivability, especially in the cluttered and noisy littorals. 

One thing the X3K's carbon fiber construction may have been less than idea for is dealing with fire, at least when compared to more traditional steel ship designs. After just three weeks of highly successful sea trials, the Kri Klewang caught fire while in port, and rapidly burnt until she succumbed to the flames totally

SAN DIEGO — The military is launching tests on the world's largest unmanned surface vessel — a self-driving, 132-foot ship designed to travel thousands of miles out at sea without a single crew member on board.

The so-called "Sea Hunter" has the potential to revolutionize not only the military's maritime operations but commercial shipping, according to military officials. If successful, it could usher in the arrival of unmanned cargo vessels moving between countries.

Others have expressed concern about hackers capturing a robotic vessel.

Military officials have been working on hacker-proof protections and say it's possible to make drone ships cyber-secure.

The "Sea Hunter" was built off the Oregon coast, and moved on a barge to San Diego's coastline. The prototype can travel at a speed of up to about 30 mph and is equipped with a variety of sensors and an advanced optical system to detect other ships.

The program to develop the ship cost $120 million, though DARPA officials say the vessels can now be produced for about $20 million.

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