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The future of submarine sails

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Postby Collins Class » Tue May 17, 2005 10:06 am

Came across some interesting info about the design of the new sail which will be fitted to the Virginia class from 2006.
http://www.dt.navy.mil/pao/excerpts%20pages/2001/advSail6_01.html

The new sail design is shown on the submarine test vehicle below
Image

My favorite comment is: "While the advanced sail may look similar to some foreign Navy submarine sails, the U.S. Navy has really investigated the underlying physics to understand the many technical trade-offs involved."
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Postby Scott T » Tue May 17, 2005 1:55 pm

Add a raker and some bubbled ports.
I wonder what that would look like?

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Postby Wayne Frey » Tue May 17, 2005 4:05 pm

It looks Russian to me (of course).
It may be just me, but the first time I saw an Alfa, the sail design just made sense. Hydrodynamic big time, and maybe less likely to cause "snap roll?" And just plane awsome!
Now, if the Russians would go to a single hull boat, I would not have to cut out so dang many holes in my boats !!!
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Postby Gerwalk » Tue May 17, 2005 4:38 pm

Wayne Frey wrote:It looks Russian to me (of course).
It may be just me, but the first time I saw an Alfa, the sail design just made sense. Hydrodynamic big time, and maybe less likely to cause "snap roll?" And just plane awsome!
Now, if the Russians would go to a single hull boat, I would not have to cut out so dang many holes in my boats !!!

No Wayne, that's just a mere coincidence:p . Look what they are saying about similarities with "foreign" designs in that official site:

"While the advanced sail may look similar to some foreign Navy submarine sails, the U.S. Navy has really investigated the underlying physics to understand the many technical trade-offs involved,"

So they are implying that the Russians know nothing of the "underlying physics" even if they have being using this kind of sails since the November class? And the Germans don't "understand the many technical trade-offs involved" when using an advanced sail in their U212 and U214?

C'mon!!! ??? That's plain silly. Please admit it: yes, this kind of sails have being in use in some "foreign" navy for almost 50 years and they are better than the ones we were using so far. We learnt from them and now we are changing for good!!
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Postby JWLaRue » Tue May 17, 2005 6:11 pm

I have always heard that the new sail form has been a part of the Virginia-class design from the beginning. The use of non-optical masts and imaging systems seems to be the basis for looking at the alternative sail design.

I also agree that it looks "Vulcanian". :;):

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Postby 84-1114883824 » Tue May 17, 2005 6:44 pm

Jeff,
You're correct, the streamlined sail was always planned. The optronics mast is currently on the Virginia with the plain vanilla sail (Seawolf-like). My understanding is that the "new" sail will have a larger volume which will permit a "garage-like" storage space that can hold small UAVs and other action figure accessories. The sail was scheduled from boat 5 onward-we'll see. The plan was around boat 10 to introduce electric drive and do away with the main propulsion turbines (harkening back to the quiet Tullibee and Lipscomb attempts at electric drive). The electric propulsion motors would be "encapsulated" in the rear ballast tanks, and would be AC rather than the bulky DC drives of the earlier submarines.

Of course with all the questions around the expense of the Virginia class subs, will there even be a tenth hull?
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Postby Boss subfixer » Tue May 17, 2005 7:19 pm

Tom as far as there being a tenth or more Viginia hulls who knows. It is supposed to be a large class but then so was the seawolf. I do know that they need to do something because the 688's are slowly but surely getting tired. Maybe we should build more 688's but with updated equipment, it is one heck of a fast attack even though it's a Newport news boat (i work for E.B.)
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Postby Collins Class » Tue May 17, 2005 11:00 pm

For you folks interested in hydrodynamics I came across some interesting flow analysis images looking at sail designs:

Pressure contours on the surface of a conventional design
Image

From here:
http://www.science.gmu.edu/~rlohner/pages/pics/incompflows.html

The new Virginia will definitely be a racier looking boat don't you think???
Image
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Postby 84-1114883824 » Wed May 18, 2005 8:38 am

Don,
I agree the 688's are being worked pretty hard, and some of the earlier boats still in service (LA, Phila.) are coming up on 30 years in service. As far as updating the 688s, there were so many compromises made in that design, I would much rather see them stick with the Virginias- I'll bet if they restarted the 688's they would end up being just as expensive.

BTW, I'm down the street at Pfizer.
Tom
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