The US Navy has decided to cut into metal the unique ship Sea Shadow ("Sea Shadow"), built in the 1980s using stealth technology, reports news Upshot blog.
Sea Shadow was the first in the family of invisible ships. The stealth technology provides for giving the object such a geometric shape that would contribute to the maximum dispersion of radar waves. In addition, special materials protect from the radar "stealth". Compared to conventional ships, the distance at which it can be detected is less than three times less, which gives a decisive advantage in combat conditions.
The sides of the Sea Shadow are chamfered at an angle of 45 degrees and are supported by underwater floats, the bottom of the ship is raised above the water. The ship is additionally protected by a device that creates a cloud of water splashes around it, which was supposed to complicate its detection with both radars and heat sensors. All welds on the body were also covered with special structures.
Experienced Sea Shadow at night to hide the ship from the Soviet reconnaissance satellites. But the American fleet could not completely protect its secrets. In 1995, one of the engineers involved in the creation of Sea Shadow was arrested and convicted of selling military secrets.
After several years of testing at the Pentagon, they came to the conclusion that even at low speeds the locators easily find the ship, and no water curtains interfere with this. Therefore, Sea Shadow, whose construction and operation cost 195 million, represents a dead end in the development of naval technology.
He became famous for using Sea Shadow in 1990 for shooting the movie "Tomorrow Will Never Die Never" from the series about 007 agent James Bond. According to the plot of the film, which was released in 1997, the stealth ship belonged to the international media magnate Elliot Carver and, being in the territorial waters of China, was used to provoke an armed conflict between the PRC and the UK.
After filming in the film, the experimental ship was not found. The command of the US Navy hoped that it would be redeemed by some private individual, but no one was willing, although the decision announced by the Navy to destroy the ship caused a surge of interest in it, manifested in the form of requests on the Internet.
Not every private owner could buy Sea Shadow even with money. You cannot place it in the courtyard of an ordinary house - the length of the ship is about 48 meters, its width is over 30. Yes, and kept it not very carefully. The representative of the manufacturer Lockheed Martin said that over the past four to five years, no maintenance work with the ship was not carried out - thus, putting it in order would also fall on the buyer.
In 2009, the issue of transferring Sea Shadow to the museum was discussed, but obviously, none of the naval museums expressed their willingness to take such a unique exhibit to its content. However, even now all is not lost - the representative of the command of the Navy, Chris Johnson, said that at the last moment the buyer could still be found.