April 11, 2015

The US Navy Has Ghosts

The Ghost uses a gyro-stabilized dual-pontoon supercavitating hull to run at top speed through 10-foot seas. Called small waterplane-area twin-hull (SWATH), it is controlled by 22 computer-controlled underwater control surfaces. When at rest or moving slowly, the Ghost sits in the water on its centerline module. At eight knots or faster, the high-grade marine aluminum buoyant hulls lift the vessel and achieve full stability.

Propulsion on the prototype is provided by T53-703 turboshaft engines, with the company planning to replace them with the General Electric T700 turboshaft.

The Ghost has achieved speeds of over 30 knots, and is being tested to 50 knots. It can perform several different missions including anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and mine countermeasures (MCM): ASuW armament consists of the M197 20mm rotary cannon and launch tubes that expel exhaust downward between the struts of the SWATH hulls, concealing and dissipating the thermal signature of the launch for BGM-176B Griffin missiles and Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rockets, with an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor and radar; an ASW version could be equipped with an EO/IR sensor, radar, sonobuoy launch tubes, a dipping sonar, and four aft-firing torpedo tubes; an MCM version could be equipped with a towing boom to lower and raise two towed mine-hunting sonars, such as the Kline 5000 or Raytheon AN/AQS-20A.

The current Ghost costs $10 million per copy, is crewed by 3-5 sailors, and can be partially disassembled to fit in a C-17 Globemaster III for transport if needed.


LL said...

I want one.

Doom said...

#10m? Is that actual cost, proposed cost when it was first designed, or... I'm not quite sure I believe the number, is all. There are guided missiles that approach that. Perhaps the biggest conventional bomb... Not whole craft?

Now, I thought this had been built... ten years ago, or more. Once you are out, even when you are in, often times all you get is rumor though. Ten or twenty years ago, I could see it, maybe... with some stretch... costing $10m, just not today. Certainly not in adjusted dollars.

Doom said...

Oh, no fuss. I hope we do have at least the one. And if there is need, perhaps a small fleet of them. With Submarine encroachment... nah, planes are better. Still, it's through tech advancements that even the civilian world feeds, like it or not. But it is old tech, or theory anyway.

Ian H said...

What a bass boat this would make! Plus, the bass wouldn't see you coming. I need one. Cheap at the price.