30 April 2012

Five Cool Stealth War Ships:

1. M80 Stiletto

The M80 Stiletto is equipped with four C32 1232 kW (1652 HP) engines manufactured by the Caterpillar, Inc., yielding a top speed in excess of 50 knots (90 km/h) and a range of 500 nautical miles (900 km) when fully loaded. It can be outfitted with jet drives for shallow water operations and beaching. This extreme performance is based on M Ship Co.’s proprietary, globally patented technology, retaking the bow wave using its energy to create an air cushion for more efficient planing. It weighs 45 tons and carries 2,000 sq. ft. of cargo. It cost roughly $6 million but the fully equipped vessel with cost $10 million.

The design and construction of this vessel made from carbon fiber for reduced weight and added rigidity. You will be seeing these vessels operational in littoral or coastal zone. The M80 Stiletto is also notable because it is the largest U.S. Naval vessel built using carbon fibre composite and epoxy building techniques, which yields a very light, but strong hull.

The Stiletto has been popular for its efficiency, low cost, innovation, higher payload fraction, agility, shock mitigation, shallow draft and stealth which are the new priorities for the next generation naval craft.

2. Sea Shadow (IX-529)

A futuristic-looking vessel with a shape reminiscent of Darth Vader’s helmet, Sea Shadow is a test platform for researching advanced technologies in propulsion, automation, sea-keeping and reduced signatures. Sea Shadow provides government and industry an opportunity to test new technologies at sea before committing to using them in new ship designs.Sea Shadow has a SWATH hull design. Below the water are submerged twin hulls, each with a propeller, aft stabilizer, and inboard canard. The portion of the ship above water is connected to the hulls via the two angled struts. The SWATH design helps the ship remain stable even in very rough water of up to sea state 6 (wave height of 18 feet (5.5 m) or “very rough” sea).

The T-AGOS 19-and-23-class oceanographic ships have inherited the stabilizer and canard method to help perform their stability-sensitive surveillance missions. The vehicle cost approximately $50 million to build and the total test program is approximately $195 million over roughly 10 years. It is owned by the Navy and operated by LMSC personnel.

3. Sea Fighter

The Sea Fighter is an aluminum catamaran designed to operate effectively in littoral, or coastal, waters. It can maneuver in as little as 11 feet (3.35 m) of water. The hull number FSF-1 stands for “fast sea frame” and is the first U.S. Naval vessel to have a catamaran design. The experimental vessel will be used to test the hydrodynamic performance, structural performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion-system efficiency of high-speed vessels.

A multi-purpose stern ramp allows the ship to launch and recover manned and unmanned surface and sub-surface vehicles up to the size of an 11-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB). From its flight deck, the Sea Fighter can operate while supporting two H-60 helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (VTUAV) at a time. The ship has a modern computer system to control its systems and for navigation. Steering and throttle control are done by wire rather than mechanical linkage.

Sea Fighter is expected to pave the way for a future line of fast, long range destroyers capable of travelling fast enough to avoid or out maneuver most of the current generation of torpedoes. They have a very low radar signature, making detection difficult. They would be able to respond quickly to targets located by air or satellite and aggressively attack surface and submerged vessels using their speed to evade torpedo and missile attack.

4. P960 Skjold Patrol Boat

The Skjold class patrol boats is a new range of superfast, large stealth missile craft, also known as MTBs (missile torpedo boats). The word Skjold means “shield” in Norwegian. The flexibility inherent in Skjold is interesting also to other navies. They are among the fastest warships in the world and can reach speeds of up to 60 knots / 110 km/t. An important capability of the Skjold is its covert operational capability in littoral warfare, particularly in using Norway’s coastal topography with its islands and fjords, to carry out surveillance and engage hostile forces from a close distance while remaining undetected. The shallow draught of 0.9m to 2.3m allows the ship to access very shallow waters denied to other vessels.

To ensure stealth capabilities radar absorbent materials (RAM) have been used in the load-bearing structures over large areas of the ship. This strategy leads to significant weight saving compared to conventional construction techniques of applying RAM cladding to the external surfaces. The ship’s profile has a faceted appearance with no right angle structures and few orientations of reflective panels. Doors and hatches are flush with the surfaces and the windows are flush without visible coaming (edge of window aperture) and are fitted with radar reflective screens.

5. FNS Tornio

The FNS Tornio has been designed and constructed as stealth ships with minimal magnetic, heat and radar signatures. The shape of the vessel has been designed to reduce radar signature. Metal parts have been covered with radar absorbent material, and the composite parts have radar absorbent material embedded in the structure. Radar transparent materials (kevlar, balsa) have been used where applicable.

“It’s harder to find this vessel and harder for an aeroplane to attack us,” adds LtSG Lehto, commanding officer of the Hamina-class fast attack craft (FAC), FNS Tornio. This vessel is equipped with legacy weapons and combat data system fit that included 40 mm and 23 mm guns and an electro-optronic director. Trials resulted in the improvements seen first in ship two, Tornio, which includes Umkhonto vertical launch surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), RBS 15SF surface-to-surface missiles and a Bofors 57 mm gun, integrated with the Advanced Naval Combat System (ANCS) SQ 2000.

Source: By Tomy John. 30 September 2008

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