Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Israel to develop unmanned submarines
Globes Online ^ | 15 October 13 | Yuval Azulai

Posted on 10/16/2013 2:31:32 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

The Ministry of Defense's weapons development administration (Mafat) is targeting a global market worth $2 billion annually.

The Ministry of Defense's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (Mafat) has set the next challenge for Israel's defense industry: do for unmanned submarines what it did for unmanned aerial warfare. If the defense industry moves quickly and purposefully in identifying this emerging market, and offers a well-functioning unmanned submarine, it could be riding the right wave in a decade from now: Mafat aeronautics division director Dr. Yuval Cohen estimates that the market will be worth $2 billion a year in 2020. If Israel was the spearhead of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), there is no reason why it cannot spearhead unmanned submarines. "We have the academic infrastructures and skills needed to work on the development of tools in this field, and if the defense industry invests the necessary resources in R&D, it will have something to sell the world, because there will be strong demand for these platforms," Cohen told "Globes".

In early October, Mafat staff presented its vision of unmanned submarines at a special conference organized by the magazine "Israel Defense". While Israel rushes ahead with UAVs, and is developing unmanned land vehicles and unmanned patrol boats, Mafat says that the challenges of developing unmanned submarines are huge: in contrast to UAVs, which are operated by commands from ground command and control systems via satellite communications, these are unavailable beneath the oceans. Undersea communications is acoustics-based, which have limited volume and range. Unmanned submarines will therefore need high levels of automation and independent navigation.

Unmanned submersibles, which are linked to the supply ship by cable, already exist, but they are short-range vehicles and have limited utility. Nonetheless, unmanned submarines have huge potential, if only because in a future battlefield, they can replace navy commandoes for special ops or plant intelligence devices off a hostile shore.

In the face of new dangers on the high seas, such as the threats of mines to paralyze shipping lanes, unmanned submarines could be a paying investment. "Naval mines weigh hundreds of kilograms. They are big, but hard to see among all the detritus on the sea floor. It's like looking for a needle in haystack. These are sophisticated mines, which activate themselves and explode at the acoustic signal of the engines of a ship passing overhead, changes in water pressure when a ship passes overhead, or magnetic mines, which attach to any metal ship. Until a shipping lane is fully cleared of mines, no one will sail in the area, effectively creating a naval blockade. The current response to this threat is slow and very expensive sweeps. Development of an automated unmanned submarine for efficient minesweeping, without risking human lives, should be very worthwhile and there is a good global market," says Cohen.

The defense establishment declines to discuss Mafat's involvement in development programs for technologies needed for unmanned submarines. Nonetheless, its involvement goes beyond words: it has intensive ties with defense companies and academic institutions, such as the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Bar Ilan University, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev, which are engaged in the field. "I see strong motivation at defense companies in investing and fostering this field," says Cohen. "This field has been in the doldrums until now, but there are signs that that the winds are picking up."

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: israel; submarine; uuv

1 posted on 10/16/2013 2:31:32 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Almost everything that makes a sub detectable has to do with humans on board.

Now, if they only could pull the electricity straight from the seawater, they’d be all set..

2 posted on 10/16/2013 3:10:08 AM PDT by Hardraade (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Israel may already be using these things, now they’re going public by telling us they’re going to develop them.

We didn’t know that Hizbollah’s leader, Nasrallah, swims in a Mickey Mouse bathing suit just off of Beirut’s public beaches...of course the color scheme of his suit is green and yellow.

3 posted on 10/16/2013 4:27:43 AM PDT by Netz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

I was wondering when this would happen.

4 posted on 10/16/2013 4:51:41 AM PDT by (How many more children must die on the altar of "gun free zones"?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Netz

And of course, if a ships interior is not a bubble of air but whatever you want it to be, diving is different and you’d be equally at home deep in the marianas trench. Unfindable.

5 posted on 10/16/2013 9:24:51 AM PDT by Hardraade (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Extra assignment for the class:

Design a missile/warhead that can launch from a mile down.

6 posted on 10/16/2013 11:44:00 AM PDT by Hardraade (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


7 posted on 10/16/2013 2:36:40 PM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, Michelle on Chicago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Hardraade

How about just a nuke on board. Get close enough to a ship and -— booom.

Be a real good way to take out a carrier group.

8 posted on 10/16/2013 2:47:49 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Jewbacca

Lots of configurations you could do, and lots of applications. The market is probably way bigger than 2 billion, and also something the globalists like the UN would seek to regulate.

9 posted on 10/16/2013 2:53:04 PM PDT by Hardraade (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

What will be the use of such an unmanned submarine?

For sure it could stay longer submerged but to do what? It’s very tricky to communicate with a submarine submerged. Everything released to surface like a buoy is detectable.

At the moment I can see just one option. Lying in front of a harbor and gather intelligence for a while.

Well, the new Israeli Dophin-class submarines have 4 slightly larger 25.6’’ torpedo tubes.

10 posted on 10/17/2013 12:54:39 AM PDT by MHalblaub ("Easy my friends, when it comes to the point it is only a drawing made by a non believing Dane...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson