Underwater satellites, mini-robot sub trackers and an open invitation to join the hunt for submarines in dangerous waters – all US projects underway to defeat the growing threat of enemy submarines.
Submarines may sound like a bit of an old school Hunt for Red October style threat, but Anti-Submarine Warfare planning is still vital.
Diesel-electric submarines are a growing threat for four primary reasons.
They can be built a relatively low cost in comparison to traditional platforms and have therefore proliferated in numbers- arguably in numbers that exceed our maritime platforms.
Additionally, the lethality of these diesel electric subs has also grown while their acoustic signatures are lower making them harder to detect.
DARPA’s Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting or DASH program will detect and locate submarines over vast areas in both deep and shallow water.
DASH is a sort of an underwater version of a satellite capable of operating at extreme depths in open ocean. Known as “subullites,” these are being developed for deployment on deep sea enemy sub stake outs.
The underwater satellites will be mobile, quiet and unmanned.
Just like a satellite in the sky, it will have a large field of view- but in this case of the water overhead so that it can scan upwards and from great depths detect the quiet diesel electric subs.
To hunt submarines in the more shallow continental shelf waters, state of the art mobile sensors will hunt from above rather than from below the threat. For this area, non-acoustic sensing will be deployed.