Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Advancement in Military Technology

In recent years, there have been numerous advances in naval technology. Here are a few examples:

This past Saturday the U.S. Navy endorsed the joint high speed vessel, Spearhead, a fast cargo ship for the transportation of troops, vehicles, and supplies. Spearhead can operate in shallow water up to an average speed of 35 knots (~40.3 mph) while carrying a full load of 1.2 million lbs.


In August of this year, the U.S. Navy revealed the new stealth boat, Ghost, designed for speed and stealth ideal for special ops. The boat is capable of achieving up to 60 mph by generating “a layer of gas around its underwater surfaces” or a phenomenon called supercavitation, which reduce friction by a factor of 900. As for stealth, the shape of the ship, like stealth plane, is designed to make radar waves bounce off away from the sender to achieve the invisibility.


And lastly, in April of this year, the U.S. Navy had successfully installed and used ray gun or high-energy laser weapon. The purpose is to protect military vessel from tiny suicidal boat like the one that almost sunk the destroyer U.S.S. Cole in 2000. The laser works by “slowly” burning a hole through a boat’s engine. Although it is less efficient than an M16, the progress is still impressive because in the past, laser weapons have limited success as laser beam intercepts dust in the air and lose focus. The problem is even more severe closer to sea level as dust gets more concentrated. So this marks a progress.


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