Military Review

Underminer program: why does the US army "go underground"

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The United States is going to develop new technological solutions for the rapid construction of tactical tunnels. The importance of tunnel networks to replenish food supplies, weaponsThe ammunition is undeniable.


Three teams were selected to develop technology under the Underminer program. The total cost of the project is at least $ 11 million. The development is led by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). According to DAPRA experts, tactical tunnel networks would provide secure logistics for the supply of military units. The development is expected to increase drilling capabilities by 20 times.

Recall that tunnel networks are widely used by rebel groups. The Americans themselves first encountered the practice of using tunnels during the Vietnam War. Then the partisans of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Viet Cong) actively used underground passages to communicate between their troops, their supplies, and intelligence operations. The US command in Vietnam even had to create special units to combat the Viet Cong rebels underground. The soldier of these units was nicknamed "tunnel rats."

Then tactical tunnels became widespread in the Middle East, primarily in Palestine and Syria. They are used by Hezbollah and Hamas in Palestine, the Islamic State banned in Russia - in Syria and Iraq. For a long time, the American army perfected the technologies for detecting and destroying tunnels, considering them in the general context of the development of counter-guerrilla operations. Now she herself decided in a certain way to "go underground."

Iran and North Korea are actively using tunnels for other purposes - to organize the uninterrupted supply of underground bunkers, in which, in the event of a large-scale armed conflict, senior officials will hide, command posts of the army and individual units, and management of industrial facilities.

Under the DAPRA plan, teams from the General Electric Research Center and Colorado School of Mines will be developing a complete solution for using Underminer technology. A third team from Sandia National Laboratories will investigate technology integration capabilities to identify existing constraints and technological issues.

Among the main areas are tunneling, borehole sounding and studying the specifics of the operation of tunnels. Underminer technology will combine advanced achievements in the field of horizontal drilling, trenchless drilling technologies, and will use the potential of robotics.

The main task


The main task is to create such solutions that would provide the possibility of prompt and constant access to underground tunnels. Apparently, those tunnels referred to by DAPRA will nevertheless be closer not to Iranian or North Korean tunnels, which are large-scale, capital structures, but to the tunnels used by the Viet Cong partisans. That is, these tunnels should be built as quickly as possible, in the field, to meet the needs of the army.

According to Dr. Andrew Nuss, who runs the Underminer program at the DARPA Tactical Technology Bureau, the ability to quickly go through the tactical tunnels will bring tangible benefits to the U.S. Army in complex operations involving the organization of operational supply of ammunition, rescue operations and other missions. Now DARPA is seriously considering that new technologies will provide a breakthrough in the development of the underground infrastructure system.
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  1. Thunderbolt
    Thunderbolt April 30 2020 13: 31 New
    -8
    A very promising direction, for example, NATO’s confrontation --- USSR / one, always one, but proud. And after salute torches --- we are many!
    1. Ilya-spb
      Ilya-spb April 30 2020 14: 55 New
      0
      Dig, Americans, dig! There is gold)))
      1. Vvol
        Vvol 4 June 2020 20: 00 New
        0
        Quote: Ilya-spb
        Dig, Americans, dig! There is gold)))

        You shouldn't laugh. The deeper you dig, the more whole you will be. Find yourself in a position that the enemy will cut off from the supply of ammunition, food / "wean off" from the opportunity to take the wounded to the rear in time with your fire alone, in spite of the fact that in terms of his physical presence next to him we are "heroic", "not wanting mercy", etc. they did a complete "but passaran" - somehow I don't want to, brrr! .. recourse The Americans think correctly: underground communication passages are a useful thing. Not a panacea, yes. But with only open trenches and communication passages, a bummer can come out - in the form of too frequent hail of fragments vertically down ... And the enemy will not always allow digging pits from above, and then block it all. And if he "pleases" - so, I suppose, he will "peep" and draw on the map ... So they think correctly - the underground passages may come in handy. And digging them manually is not good anywhere (and it’s not very “manual” either - the blocks are needed to lift the excavated soil up, trolleys for transporting it along the already dug part of the tunnel, ventilation organization: just "manual", which soldiers paving a passage with shovels, and even the beams can be manually fastened, yes, "manual" ... a canary in a cage, hehe!))), in case of penetration of "wild" gas belay recourse ) So it’s better with mechanization. But here too - if even with mechanization driving will go slowly, then in a modern war this is bad. So, they think correctly that for such tasks an advanced technique is needed ... But here we are ... recourse No matter how they are again in the laggards. recourse If we catch ourselves and begin to gradually report on the development of "super-duper" robots, "moles", then all the same ... how not to be late ... how not to be late! negative recourse No matter how it turns out that it really snags - and you will have to dig tunnels with bayonet shovels or "what they really are" old jackhammers, loading the soil onto carts made with your own hands and keeping an eye on the canary in the cage. While the enemy, who made us sweaty deal with our bombing and shelling, will briskly dig their message moves with special powerful (but compact!) Automated tunneling systems, ahead of us in pace (and in the end - and in scale, if only he these scales will be required) works.
  2. Same lech
    Same lech April 30 2020 13: 39 New
    0
    Imagine how hordes of American soldiers tumble out of the tunnels after a nuclear apocalypse ... hehe Hollywood Star Troopers.
    1. Covid19 Ukhan
      Covid19 Ukhan April 30 2020 17: 06 New
      -3
      They fall out of the tunnels and unscrupulously ram the Russian patrol in Syria.
  3. dzvero
    dzvero April 30 2020 13: 45 New
    +1
    The topic is interesting, if only because of the commercial potential. Maybe they will finally stop digging roads for laying pipes and cables ...
    The question is how long will such tunnels survive under large-caliber shells / min? It seems to me, nevertheless, the trenches will be more practical.
    1. Amateur
      Amateur April 30 2020 14: 11 New
      +3
      Maybe they will finally stop digging roads for laying pipes and cables ...

      When it will cease to be beneficial to local kings. All have long been invented.
      1. Potter
        Potter 2 May 2020 12: 07 New
        +1
        We have been using such equipment for microtunneling in the construction of engineering networks and communications for 20 years.
    2. stalki
      stalki April 30 2020 15: 21 New
      -1
      Not only will they not survive, so an enclosed space is good for a chemical attack. In a row, whether it will be used in a real full-scale war, it is rather suitable for small deviation work. And so it is already used a lot where, the price of the question is, is it worth inventing "golden shovels" for this?
    3. Undecim
      Undecim April 30 2020 15: 35 New
      +5
      The question is not about the construction of tunnels along which trains and cars will ride. The question is about creating an underground transport network. At this stage, an option is considered with a diameter of tunnels up to 4 inches and the possibility of laying it under various conditions, including urban development and accurate positioning (direction, end point).
      1. dzvero
        dzvero April 30 2020 15: 48 New
        +3
        Those. technology demonstrator. Only a hose for supplying fuel or a communication / power cable will fit in 4 inches. Good too. I wonder how they will transfer for example cartridges. Rope-bound containers?
        1. Undecim
          Undecim April 30 2020 16: 22 New
          +3
          So in order for the program to work out all these issues. By the way, have you heard about airmail?
          1. dzvero
            dzvero April 30 2020 16: 41 New
            +2
            I heard, of course, but its application requires the preparation of the walls of the tunnel. Maybe a mentored plastic or thin-walled metal pipe? One of the drawbacks is that you need to carefully calculate the route to avoid sharp turns. Also, if the container still gets stuck, the system must be disassembled completely.
            In my opinion, this communication system has its pros and cons. If it turns out to reduce ground transportation even by 20%, then it is already justified. Let's see what they do.
            1. Undecim
              Undecim April 30 2020 16: 46 New
              +4
              These are the questions the program should answer. As stated in the press release: "Hence Project Underminer, a fifteen-month, $ 11 million program. DARPA will evaluate the feasibility of boring or tunneling methods in terms of“ diameter, speed, length, depth, branching, bend radius, accuracy, structural integrity, and infrastructure / logistics constraints. "
        2. Brylevsky
          Brylevsky April 30 2020 16: 49 New
          +3
          I wonder how they will transfer for example cartridges. Rope-bound containers?

          Pneumatics. As airmail ... Of course, not the same as it was in the century before last. The air pressure in the system (or vice versa - vacuum) can already be done much more, which theoretically can allow you to move larger weights, compared to what it was before.
      2. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh April 30 2020 16: 24 New
        +5
        Drilling a tunnel is easy. Machines are designed.
        Difficulties begin:
        1) take out the soil behind the drilling machine
        2) to strengthen the tunnel so that it does not collapse.
        In the construction of the subway, both of these processes are mechanized and automated.
        But there is a tunnel of huge diameter.
        In small tunnels, people do everything behind the car.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim April 30 2020 16: 30 New
          +2
          As I understood from the press release, at this stage we are considering a question similar to trenchless laying of pipelines.
        2. Brylevsky
          Brylevsky April 30 2020 16: 53 New
          +4
          Difficulties begin:
          1) take out the soil behind the drilling machine
          2) to strengthen the tunnel so that it does not collapse.

          I have nothing to say on the first point, but on the second I can say that you can use polymer pipes wound around large diameter coils. Such a technique has long been used in laying underground utilities, for example, in horizontal drilling, when power cables are pulled.
          1. Saturn
            Saturn 4 May 2020 18: 17 New
            +1
            On the first point, there is something to say, there is practically no soil removal, the solution is mainly from the well, not a big puddle. Soil during drilling and expansion is compacted, a small part is carried out by the drilling fluid to the drilling site. It is unclear just what they were going to supply for such communications. Stealth is zero, a lot of technique is used when drilling. The distance is small, real I think up to 500 meters, more only in unique cases. In my opinion, this method can only be used to prepare long-term positions in the rear. I think sawing budget money under a plausible pretext. Technological limitations on horizontal drilling have long been known that I can’t understand American money on 11 meters there.
            1. Saturn
              Saturn 4 May 2020 18: 25 New
              0
              As usual, something like this
              https://youtu.be/sArTvPObHkw
        3. dzvero
          dzvero April 30 2020 17: 00 New
          +1
          For a start:
          1. the crushed soil is mixed with water and sways back through the hose to the surface;
          2. behind the machine, polymer solution is sprayed along the walls of the tunnel;
          In principle, everything is solved.
          1. Brylevsky
            Brylevsky April 30 2020 17: 16 New
            +3
            For a start:
            1. the crushed soil is mixed with water and sways back through the hose to the surface;
            2. behind the machine, polymer solution is sprayed along the walls of the tunnel;
            In principle, everything is solved.

            You can also use an underground rocket, designed by M.I. Tsiferov in 1948. Such a "rocket" passes even through rocky ground. And the jet stream itself carries the worked-out soil and chipped rock to the surface, you just need to hide from the debris.
        4. Potter
          Potter 2 May 2020 12: 13 New
          +3
          In Russia, there are no problems with microtunneling. From polyethylene pipes, a lash of the required length is welded, which is pulled behind the drilling body. The length of such tunnels reaches several hundred meters, the diameter is up to a meter. Everything is automated.
      3. Dead_mazay
        Dead_mazay 19 June 2020 23: 45 New
        0
        Here we are talking about precisely "burying drugs" in the ground. Following the example of the Viet Cong. The use of underground communications by personnel.
    4. sen
      sen 1 May 2020 04: 53 New
      +1
      Our fighters in Afghanistan fought with dushmans in the underground hydraulic system - in the kyariz. Since, as in Vietnam, aviation and artillery turned out to be ineffective against them, a special subdivision for underground warfare was created as part of the 40th Army. True, our soldiers did not climb deep into the ground, but used more powerful explosive charges and flamethrowers, including Bumblebees.
  4. knn54
    knn54 April 30 2020 13: 51 New
    +3
    War in a new "dimension".
    And a small amendment - the FIRST Yankees collided with tunnels on the island of Iwo Jima during WWII. When the Japanese used them to attack from an ambush.
  5. rocket757
    rocket757 April 30 2020 14: 23 New
    +7
    Troops have long been bursting into the earth at the very, most.
    This is not even the long forgotten old, it is as it is!
    They just want to bring this process to a new technological level.
  6. iouris
    iouris April 30 2020 14: 51 New
    +1
    Here you are not England - you need to dig deeper!
  7. sergo1914
    sergo1914 April 30 2020 15: 17 New
    +1
    How can they get the idea of ​​engineer Garin hyperboloid?
    1. Brylevsky
      Brylevsky April 30 2020 16: 55 New
      +2
      How can they get the idea of ​​engineer Garin hyperboloid?

      Build a working model and make a presentation with a buffet and chicks.
  8. 7,62h54
    7,62h54 April 30 2020 15: 21 New
    -1
    When shelling over areas in amers sitting in holes, delayed concussions will again occur.
  9. Charik
    Charik April 30 2020 16: 30 New
    0
    Yes, the whole planet in these tunnels.
  10. Ros 56
    Ros 56 April 30 2020 16: 39 New
    -1
    But underground, it’s not so scary from these Russians, and you don’t need to dig graves. fellow negative
  11. AVA77
    AVA77 April 30 2020 16: 51 New
    -3
    Underminer program: why does the US army "go underground"
    Damn, yes Klitschko advised wink
  12. Peter is not the first
    Peter is not the first April 30 2020 18: 01 New
    +1
    I remember in my childhood I read the novel The Time Machine by Herbert Wells, and there, too, one of the races of the former humanity went to live underground, and the other remained on the surface. The Americans are just the most aggressive nation, and as Tram tells us, and the most hard-working, they are already preparing for the life of the worm. drinks
    1. sabakina
      sabakina April 30 2020 18: 40 New
      0
      Recently revised the film. Looks normal.
  13. businessv
    businessv April 30 2020 19: 24 New
    0
    Now DARPA is seriously considering that new technologies will provide a breakthrough in the development of the underground infrastructure system.
    Great plan! Especially in the period that follows the exchange of nuclear strikes.
  14. Klingon
    Klingon April 30 2020 20: 52 New
    +2
    In the USSR under Khrushchev there was even a project of an underground tank, or rather an underground boat, the Mole
  15. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav April 30 2020 21: 05 New
    0
    which guys will make good money for research on this topic
  16. Avior
    Avior 1 May 2020 00: 51 New
    -1
    Everything has been invented for a long time - military lithostats smile

    Last signal: a sharp bell sounds in all cabins. The voltage increases threefold ... And the lithostat goes up, crushing cement and reinforced concrete, breaking the foundations of gun turrets, scattering dugouts and machine gun nests.
    I can imagine what was happening then in the enemy fortifications.
    It seems that the enemy armies are firmly standing and the future promises them victory. Cheerfully feel their commanders. Firmly resting his feet on the concrete floor of the artillery casemate and watching the telescope, the commander of a battery repeatedly throws orders into the telephone receiver. Suddenly he feels that the earth has swayed beneath him. The casemate begins to heel and settle. The neighboring rooms collapse with a roar, the heavy guns of the battery cease to shoot, .... some grating humming comes from below. The earth beneath your feet is swinging more and more. Suddenly the exit tunnel of the casemate collapses. Nowhere to run. The officer sees his soldiers. Their faces are warped with horror. Then he recalls his duty and shouts in a trembling voice: “Calm!” But at this time the floor of the casemate was cracking and some terrible monster protruded from the ground like a huge mole. It crushes the underground fortress, and the numbed garrison of the underground fortress dies, not even having time to realize that it’s Soviet military lithostats that break through the line of enemy fortifications

    smile
  17. sen
    sen 1 May 2020 05: 00 New
    +1
    The United States is going to develop new technological solutions for the rapid construction of tactical tunnels. The importance of tunnel networks to replenish stocks of food, weapons, ammunition is undeniable.

    I think that Underminer is not only to solve the transport problem, but also to fight the enemy tunnels. For battle and transportation in narrow tunnels, specialized robots are needed.