Underwater "predator" seep through the anti-submarine defense
The Columbia Group Company has presented an interesting multipurpose robotic underwater platform that changes the concept of a future war in the vast world ocean.
The robot, named Proteus, has a length of 7,6 meters, weighs almost 3 tons and can move under water at speeds up to 10 nodes (18 km / h). The main quality of the "underwater predator" (as the creators call the robot) is maximum autonomy and flexibility of use. It is enough to enter the necessary route, the coordinates of the goal and the task, and Proteus at one gas station will independently overcome under water up to 600 km at an average speed of 5-9 km / h. Thanks to its streamlined shape, low noise engine and low speed under water, the robot is almost invisible and can literally “seep” through the enemy's anti-submarine defense.
Characteristics of Proteus allow it to perform many functions: from patrolling the waters to the imperceptible surveillance of nuclear submarines with intercontinental ballistic missiles. The robot is equipped with a cargo compartment that can hold up to 180 kg of cargo, including various sensors, communication equipment, explosives, additional fuel, etc. Proteus can also carry seven fully equipped special forces, which makes it an ideal vehicle for delivering special forces to ships or the coast of the enemy.
However, Proteus is not for nothing called a predator: 800 – kg mobile underwater mine MK67 or the latest 324-mm self-guided torpedoes MK54 can be attached to it. Also, the robot can carry the Sea Fox unmanned vehicle designed to destroy cumulative underwater mines.
The US military has repeatedly stated the desire to arm their fleet with robots that can perform dangerous underwater operations without risking human life. Proteus type robots will probably be used initially as one of the elements of submarine weapons. However, it is obvious that their high potential will seriously complicate life for surface and submarine ships, the cost of which is already reaching 1 billion dollars. For this money, you can flood the ocean with autonomous, secretive robots equipped with sensors, weapons and advanced communication systems. Such machines will be able to effectively deal with all types of modern warships, as well as to realize the cherished dream of the military - to reliably follow the enemy’s nuclear submarines.
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