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  (Source: Marvel Comics)
Hail Hydra!

It's big, it's fast, it's sneaky, it's deadly, and it's unmanned.  The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) proposed "Hydra" unmanned submersible (also know as an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV)).

The U.S. Navy currently deploys smaller UUVs or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from surface ships or submarines for a variety roles, including removing line of sight limitations, remote attacks on targets, and detailed imaging of potential targets.

But flying and diving drones are limited by their range to within a certain radius of the manned fleet.  And the drones could hypothetically attract attention back to the manned fleet, tipping the enemy off on their location.  Last, but not least, the use of larger manned ships greatly increases the cost of an operation.

Hydraw
The new unmanned mothership shares it name with both the monster of Greek mythology, and the Marvel Comics supervillain/terrorist organization led by the Red Skull.
[Image Source: Comics Vine/Marvel]

DARPA warns:

The rising number of ungoverned states, piracy, and proliferation of sophisticated defenses severely stretches current resources and influences U.S. military capability to conduct special operations and contingency missions.

Hydra looks to eliminate that, serving as a mini underwater carrier for both UUVs and UAVs.  Like naval submarines, it would be able to travel days on end, allowing remote operations with smaller drones in areas where there are no nearby manned vessels.  The new Hydra craft will be designed to perform missions (via its UAV payloads) in three arenas -- underwater, on the surface, and in the air.

DARPA will officially kick off the effort to build Hydra at an Aug. 5 event at Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Mary.

The government agency is seeking private sector contract bids to first design components, build those components, integrate them into subsystems, and finally merge those subsystems into a working prototype.  Among the necessary subsystems include the ballast system, energy, communications, command and control, propulsion, a modular UAV/UUV carrier-style storage assembly to accommodate different drone payloads, and measures for long-duration submerged operations.

Hydra render
An artist's depiction of the Hydra submersible mothership. [Image Source: DARPA]

The mothership must be able to dock with returning drones to recharge/refuel them and to pool their collected data.  The craft must be able to operate independently in shallow coastal waters and harbors for extended periods, maintaining constant secure communication with distant operators.  It must be able to deploy all of its drone payloads without surfacing, and be able to maintain communication with the drones -- including aerial units -- while staying underwater.  And ideally it needs to be able to retrieve the drones for reuse.

Currently Raytheon Comp. (RTN), one of America's largest defense contractors, and AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV), one of the largest dedicated drone makers, have developed prototypes of a "Switchblade" launching system, which deploys a UAV which takes off out of a launcher payload which floats to the surface after being deployed from a submarine.  Retrieving data (communicating with) that flier and possibly retrieving it for later reuse will be tricky to accomplish, though.

Raytheon launcher
Raytheon and Aerovironment have a drone launch system for subs. [Image Source: Raytheon]

The The U.S. Navy Research Lab has been developing a similar aerial "mothership" drone called "Tempest", which launches smaller mini-drones call "Cicadas".

Source: DARPA



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RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By OoklaTheMok on 7/24/2013 6:38:13 PM , Rating: -1
Try listening to someone other than Alex Jones for a change


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/24/2013 8:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
LOL Funny but under Bush or any other Republican, that comment would have gotten me a 5.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By MikeDiction on 7/24/2013 11:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome back Reclaimer!


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By maugrimtr on 7/25/2013 10:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
He's not wrong though. Under Bush it would have been a 5 - the president everyone loves to think the worst of...granted, for good reasons ;).


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By Samus on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2013 12:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And I realize you don't acknowledge the existence of civilization outside of the United States, but whether you want to or not, it's important to be diplomatically accepted in the world


Okay jackass. And I guess it's just Fox News telling me that it seems like the world hates us even MORE under Obama?

Seriously wake the fuck up. World opinion on America couldn't be any worst than it is now! And no, it's not all Iraq.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By Frallan on 7/25/2013 3:08:46 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Okay jackass. And I guess it's just Fox News telling me that it seems like the world hates us even MORE under Obama?


Wrong - from a European PoV at least Obama has let us down but that might have been that we had to high hopes. But the raisin in the pudding is that any POTUS except the Bushes is a huge leap forward for mankind - we would have accepted a fox-terrier with less hope but the same relief than Obama but at this time we would we would have bee less disappointed.

And world opinion of the US is not at an all time low - the Bushes and Nixon still occupy all the top three slots on the podium. But PRISM doesn't help thank god there are brave men like Manning and Snowden in your country as well.

BR
/F


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By V-Money on 7/25/2013 3:20:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because of the whole Iraq situation, the entire world completely hates us.


Hate to break it to you, but the entire world has hated us long before this Iraq thing. As a side note, I think that creating Jersey Shore was a much worse atrocity.

quote:
but whether you want to or not, it's important to be diplomatically accepted in the world, otherwise, you create enemies like Bin Laden,


F%#$ em, there is no need to be diplomatic, we just need to stop trying to be the worlds police. As for terrorists, they wouldn't be a threat if we utilized our already strong deterrent system (nuclear weaponry). We wouldn't necessarily have to use any, just let it be known and accepted that we are willing to.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By arazok on 7/25/2013 10:14:45 AM , Rating: 2
I was about to say something about the lunacy of using nukes to stop terrorists, but then I thought about it. Perhaps if the US nuked a middle eastern city every time a terrorist attacked a US asset, America wouldn’t need to be invading countries and creating massive domestic spying networks.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By Rukkian on 7/25/2013 12:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
What, because the world would be uninhabitable radioactive waste?


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By MZperX on 7/25/2013 12:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I typed up a really snarky response and then thought the better of it. This "uninhabitable radioactive waste" idea is a common fallacy. Most people know little to nothing about nuclear weapons outside of what they gleaned from post-apocalyptic movies. Let's face it, while entertaining, these movies are not exactly scientific reference material. The world would not become and "uninhabitable wasteland". That's pure ignorance and hysteria.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By ShaolinSoccer on 7/25/2013 5:49:11 PM , Rating: 3
Dafuq you talking about? If every major city got nuked, you expect flowers to start blooming?


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By MZperX on 7/26/2013 3:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
How cute... another ignoramus. There have been well over 600 atmospheric nuclear tests conducted all around the world since the "atomic age" began. Many of these were in the multiple megaton yield range. Thousands more were detonated in subsurface explosions. A wide range of weapons from the implosion type Trinity device (fission) through the most powerful thermonuclear (fusion) devices were tested. Yet, the Earth is not an uninhabitable glowing wasteland as you and other hysterical people would have us believe.

Crack wise all you want you just reveal how little you know. I'm not saying nuclear explosions are "good" or even that they are without consequences; BUT to suggest that a few explosions would bring about the apocalypse is foolish at best.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By arazok on 7/25/2013 10:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
You realize that Bin Laden declared war on the US when Bill Clinton was in office, right?

You can’t get any more popular outside of the US then Clinton was. Clearly being accepted diplomatically doesn’t weigh on the minds of people like Bin Laden.

I’ll also add that “being accepted” outside of America basically requires one be a democrat. It doesn’t matter if you act like a Republican, you just need to preside under the right brand. It’s really that simple for most people who quite frankly don’t have a clue about what’s going on around them.

As a non-American, my best suggestion to you Americans is to stop giving a crap about what the world thinks. All they think is that you should solve every single problem in the world and drop cotton candy from the sky.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By maugrimtr on 7/25/2013 11:19:27 AM , Rating: 3
Get real. Most anti-American sentiment depends on the perception that the US unfairly influences politics beyond its borders using means that are, at best, hypocritical and, at worst, illegal under international treaties.

There are literally hundreds of examples. War in Iraq? Not sanctioned by UN. Illegal renditions? Ignore local law during transport. Torture and military trials? They contravene Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Treatment of non-citizens? Everyone knows by now that non-US citizens within the US are not protected by the US constitution...if you believe certain extremist Republicans and ignore the Bill of Rights.

All America needs to do is stop listening to politicians who use fear and ignorance to force unwise actions like propping up dictators in the Middle East (e.g. Egypt before its revolution which has done WONDERS for our reputation - both sides hate us now).

We don't really need to fear terrorists. We just need to stop creating them. We don't need to be ignorant. We can force Congress to shut down secret laws made in secret courts by judges elected unchallenged by a Supreme Court head without oversight and who pass secret applications for suveillance 100% of the time (barring one withdrawal and a couple of typo fixes...).

The worst part is that America DESERVES the hate it gets. It's doing it to itself with every bomb, plane, military aid dollar, diplomatic visit to a dictator, and word spoken by the morons in Congress that the rest of the world notices.

A sane nation would learn from its mistakes, not repeat them to infinity in a sad comedy.

America can be SO much better...


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By Totally on 7/26/2013 12:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
Not really, don't see why downvote you've been downvoted. I don't see a reason to upvote either.


RE: Enthusiasm Curbed.
By TerranMagistrate on 7/24/2013 9:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
Not exactly up-to-date with current events, are we.


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