Juliet Marine Systems is a maritime technology think tank that is developing innovative solutions for naval and commercial applications. They seek to assure fleet force protection in response to small vessel terrorist attacks against our Navy and coalition ships. There is a clear and present danger of these tactics being used against the U.S. Navy throughout the world and in our home ports. These same innovative technologies, applied to commercial needs, will provide a significant decrease in transit time and increase in energy efficiency, resulting in the savings of thousands of gallons of fuel daily.
As a maritime systems think tank, Juliet Marine Systems provides offensive, defensive and ISR solutions that are developed in a skunk works operation able to rapidly invent and construct needed technologies and systems for the Navy and armed forces. We have already developed a surface variant of a supercavitating craft and are planning to apply our unique technology in a Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) prototype.
Although it is a surface vessel, the hydrodynamics of the twin submerged buoyant tubular foils are also a test bed for Juliet Marine’s next planned prototype, a long duration UUV. This revolutionary proprietary technology vessel platform will assure force protection through stealth fighter/attack capabilities along with integrated situation awareness. These vessels would create a protective fleet perimeter, providing sensor and weapons platforms, allowing no surface or subsurface intrusions.
The surface vessel is a combination of stealth fighter aircraft and attack helicopter technologies packaged in a marine platform. It is designed to provide a marine surface and subsurface platform for tracking and identification of multiple targets. Systems for integrating on-board weapons will be designed to be capable of multi-target firing solutions while it operates at very high speed. These weapons integration systems will also allow for attacking several targets simultaneously with a variety of weapons systems options.
The same capabilities that have made helicopters valuable to get to hard to reach locations fast, will apply to the surface vessel in commercial applications in the maritime environment. Crew rotations or resupply runs for critical items to off-shore oil rigs can be accomplished two to three times faster than the craft currently in use and would be far less expensive and have fewer weather restrictions than using helicopter assets. The surface vessel is two to three times as fast as most ferries in use today.
* The roof holds a mount for a machine gun and rocket launcher.
* Triple the range of comparable sized ships
* super-cavitating surface craft which can achieve 900 times less hull friction than a conventional watercraft.
* The Ghost has achieved speeds of over 30 knots, and is being tested to 50 knots
* The current Ghost costs $10 million per copy, is crewed by 3-5 sailors, has an endurance of 30 days, and can be partially disassembled to fit in a C-17 Globemaster III for transport if needed. There is room for 16 passengers with two 6 in (15 cm)-diameter round windows in the hull.
* High-level discussions have been held with a foreign nation interested in 25 Ghosts for a potential $300 million sale. Juliet Marine also offered a scaled-up corvette-sized Ghost 150 ft (46 m) in length to the U.S. Navy as part of their re-evaluation of the Littoral Combat Ship program; costing about $50 million per vessel, it is six times cheaper than the $300 million per-ship cost of a Freedom-class and Independence-class littoral combat ship.
Counter Piracy. Guido Vitti. Ghost flies through the ocean on buoyant foils, long propeller-tipped pontoons that sit six feet underwater.
Operating a handful of warships and aircraft near Somalia will cost the European Union $8.3 million annually over the next two years. The average cost of an armed security team for commercial vessels is $2,000 to $4,000 per day. And there is no guarantee that the guns, guards, and warships will work. One of last year’s deadliest attacks happened aboard a tanker in the Gulf of Guinea that was protected by private security. Guards killed two pirates before retreating to a safe room, but the assault continued, and one crew member died.
Governments and shipping companies could continue to fight pirates in the same reactive fashion they always have. What companies like Juliet Marine offer is a more proactive approach, one that could discourage pirates before they ever leave shore.
Engagement is where Ghost would come in. It would operate in troubled waters, using barges or other ships as its base, and respond to calls from distressed vessels. Two or three Ghosts in a region could take the place of dozens of armed guards and battleships. And because they’d be a constant force, they would not only defuse active threats but also discourage any new ones.
That’s Greg Sancoff’s vision, at least. The current prototype can reach only 30 knots (just 10 knots faster than a souped-up Somali skiff), although Juliet Marine says a production model will nearly double that speed.
To make a stable vessel that doesn’t shoot into the air, as surface-skimming hydroplanes are wont to do, the hull needed to be anchored to the water. But how can one move something through the water without creating debilitating drag? The answer: Supercavitation. Among other benefits, the phenomenon makes craft more fuel-efficient and more stable for shooting at targets. The Russian military, Sancoff learned, had built a supercavitating rocket-powered torpedo, which traveled at 200 knots, roughly four times as fast as American weapons. But the torpedo was difficult to steer. The problem, he realized, was that the propellers were pushing from the back, rather than pulling from the front. “If you push a pencil across a table, it’s very hard to keep it going straight,” Sancoff explains. “If you pull the pencil, it’s easy.”
Installing Ghost’s propellers in front solved not only the control problem but actually furthered the vessel’s supercavitation by helping to push water aside, making room for air coming from above the water. It also meant that the craft would potentially be more stable and have less drag than hydrofoils, which also have hulls that rise out above the water. “That was the eureka,” says Sancoff. “I immediately started designing the boat on my kitchen table with a pen and paper.”
Costly Littoral Combat Ship
FY2010 budget documents revealed that the total costs of the two lead ships had risen to $637 million for Freedom and $704 million for Independence.
A GAO report in July 2014 found that the annual cost to operate an LCS was $79 million, compared to $54 million to operate a larger frigate.
SOURCES – Wikipedia, Popular Science, Juliet Marine, Youtube, Bloomberg News
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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