Tuesday, July 26, 2016

War Canoes in the 21st Century

For a sustained period of time, since it was published in January of 2012, there has been a continuing interest in the article “The War Canoes of World War II – Cockleshell Heroes”. See; http://arnhemjim.blogspot.com/2012/01/war-canoes-of-world-war-ii-cockleshell.html . Recently this has included search terms requesting whether the Royal Marine Commandos SBS (Special Boat Service) still use canoes for special missions. The following article, written as recently as September 2015, brings the subject up to date, including the SBS, U.S. Navy SEALs, and several other Western maritime special forces. The principal differences, are being driven by evolving technologies, being hull design, new construction materials, motorization, and submarine design. See; https://www.amazon.com/Covert-Shores-Special-Missions-Minisubs/dp/1533114870?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0 and http://www.hisutton.com/. Not wanting to plagiarize this highly informative web site, with full acknowledgement and expressed gratitude, the following images will give the reader an idea of the site’s content.

"Sleeping Beauty" updated; the Ortega Submersible Canoe Mk 1B

"The Mokai ES-Kape motorized canoe is another cross-over from the recreational market. Something like a jetski, this craft has the potential to operate in Special Forces roles ordinarily carried out by jetskis but with a lower profile and lighter weight. It is limited to one person but can operate in just 6" of water at speeds of up to 16kts carrying 300lb (including the driver). It is however relatively heavy at 200lb (compared to less the 100lb for a two-man folding kayak) and only carries a single adult. Its Achilles heal from the military perspective is the petrol engine (diesel is NATO standard).which is both non-standard (diesel being the NATO single-fuel standard) and much more dangerous. It is unlikely that a submarine captain would allow it inside the sub, although the same is true of early outboard motors for inflatable boats."

"For storage and transport it breaks into three parts with the nose and motor fitting inside the cockpit."

For those readers who might be inclined in a more in-depth study of this clandestine "back-water" subject area (please forgive the pun), H.I. Sutton, the author of the above blog, has recently published (May 2016) a highly researched and detailed book entitled "COVERT SHORES", in a second updated edition. See; https://www.amazon.com/Covert-Shores-Special-Missions-Minisubs/dp/1533114870?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

In addition to the projects shown on the web site, Lockheed Martin is currently developing what they term as a “Dry Combat Submersible” for the U.S. Navy SEALs. The company having disclosed the following recent status information in an article in Popular Science Magazine.

Lockheed Martin Will Build New Shallow Submarine For Navy SEALs
So they don't have to get wet
By Kelsey D. Atherton

A submarine similar to this one will someday carry Navy SEALs on secret missions.

Lockheed Martin Conceptual Design for Dry Combat Submersible
Traveling underwater offers Navy SEALs a lot of advantages. Troops are hard to see below the waves, and until they reach the shore they’re no louder than the ocean itself. The problem is all the water. The current “swimmer delivery vehicles” used by the Navy’s elite special forces require them to wear scuba gear the entire time, because they're exposed to the sea itself. A new submarine, from Submergence Group LLC and defense giant Lockheed Martin, will instead carry SEALS covertly, underwater, and inside an enclosed submarine.

It’s called the Dry Combat Submersible. From Lockheed Martin:

    Currently, personnel transiting underwater use the SDV to reach their final destination – the personnel are in dive gear and exposed to the undersea environment. DCS allows the personnel to get closer to their destination before they enter the water, and be more effective upon arrival.

    “Our advancements in undersea technologies will ensure personnel are equipped with technologically capable and adaptable systems that can easily be refreshed with the latest capabilities,” said Erika Marshall, general manager and program director at Lockheed Martin’s site in Palm Beach. “These reliable undersea vehicles will protect personnel, ensure they arrive ready to execute their mission, and return them safely.”

Lockheed’s existing dry manned submersibles, the submarines likely most similar to this new one, can operate for over 24 hours underwater before running low on air, travel just over 5 mph, and carry enough fuel to go 70 miles. There isn’t much known about the existing advanced swimmer vehicle, but both it and the Dry Combat Submersible are built to get SEALs close to shore in shallow waters.

Riding in a shallow-water submarine probably isn’t the most exciting thing a SEAL will do, but the key to a successful infiltration is avoiding excitement for as long as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment