It is said that creating a super-cavitating craft is as challenging as breaking the sound barrier, but that is exactly what Juliet Marine Systems have done. The vessel, called GHOST, is a combination aircraft and boat that has been designed to fly through an artificial underwater gaseous environment creating 900 times less hull friction than water. It has been built at no cost to the government, and is hoped that the technology can be used to protect US sailors, servicemen and servicewomen in the future.
GHOST is state-of-the-art in every possible way. As well as looking like the hi-tech speed boat from Thunder In Paradise, the craft can be programmed to engage in manned or unmanned operations on the surface or under it!
GHOST also possesses stealth technology, and while it is not known exactly what this incorporates, the press statement notes that the vessel “could operate in international waters undetected and would have an overwhelming advantage against conventional ships”.
The craft has been designed for Fleet Force Protection purposes such as protecting vessels from pirates, but the technology is said to be scalable meaning it could be used to build a super-cavitating Corvette-sized ship. GHOST will also enable the US Navy to reduce its footprint by freeing up larger assets for other missions, saving costs in manpower and maintenance. In fact, it could save the government an estimated $1.5 billion each year thanks to the hull’s fuel-saving, friction reducing design.
The stealth craft would also pack quite a punch due to its ability to carry thousands of pounds of weapons such as Mark 48 torpedoes, however it is its speed and manuevaribility that makes GHOST a force to be reckoned with.
The US Navy have compared GHOST to an attack helicopter with regard to its capabilities for force protection, but aim to it to deliver forces to any beach location quickly and quietly without the need to engage the enemy. As such, GHOST could prove to a life-saving and game-changing innovation.
Images: JULIET MARINE SYSTEMS, INC