A Submarine That Can Go 100 Knots

The fastest submarine in the US Navy can go only 25 to 30 knots. But the Electric Boat Corporation, the primary designer for US Navy submarines, is trying to design one that can reach up to 100 knots. It plans on testing a 1/4 scale model off the coast of Rhode Island next year:

The sub utilizes the phenomenon known as supercavitation. Supercavitation is the process wherein an object moves so fast through the water that it creates a gas bubble around itself, nearly eliminating drag. Unencumbered by the high drag of water, the object is free to speed along at much higher speeds than otherwise possible. Supercavitation has been known since the end of World War Two, and the Soviets succeeded in creating a torpedo that utilizes supercavitation for high-speed travel, but so far no one has succeeded in scaling the effect up to the size of a whole submarine.


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I've come to understand that some subs already can move just below the boundry of supercavitation. So if that'd be true, supercavitation becomes something like the soundbarrier with airplanes. Stay below the barrier and a sub can stay silent. Go into supercav and the craft comes at its target superspeedy and with an unmistakable loud growl for most likely a short endburst to jump its prey. But with such speeds there's no evasive action possible, so at that point all the noise won't matter anymore.
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agree with TimO. this is dumb.

american nuclear subs have been "schooled" of late in war games by quieter diesel-electric subs from foreign nations.

if a supercavitating sub can travel this fast, a supercavitating torpedo is going to be able to go faster and be launched from a super quiet and relatively cheap electric boat.

whizbang for sure, but militarily useless.
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Supercavitation is water vapor created in a low pressure environment (boiling point is directly proportional to pressure). Cavitation can cause major damage to propellers and is used by trigger shrimp to damage the outer shell of crabs. In these instances, cavitation is damaging because the instant the cavity collapses, water slams against the surface near the object creating the cavitation. Propellors can cavitate when they spin too fast. A ship that can cavitate must be capable of creating an area of low pressure on the nose, such as a wing. I assume supercavitation means that the vapor cavity is sustained for a long period of time.
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