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The Ghost of the horizon

GHOST is a unique reconnaissance ship, designed in 2011, the American company Juliet Marine System, Inc. It is capable of speeds over 100 knots while remaining invisible to sonar and radar.

The ship became the first in its class and managed to enlist the attention of the U.S. Navy, U.S. coast guard, military contractors and foreign governments as well as hackers from around the world. According to Juliet Marine System, for the duration of the project, the intensity of attempts of hacking the official website of the company reached at times up to 350 attempts in a month. Currently, the Internet is already available content is one of the patents associated with the project GHOST, but the main secret of “Ghost” remain unsolved.

“It’s almost as much a fighter as a ship,” says the inventor of the GHOST Gregory Mankoff, founder and CEO of Juliet Marine System, Inc. “The key to high performance lies in a unique turbine design. To achieve similar results, you should be able to channel all this energy in the right place.”

It is known that the ship is powered by two gas turbines located at the ends of two submerged wings and a design reminiscent of a modern torpedo. They do have a number of similarities with underwater shells, but in many ways surpass their cavitation characteristics.

In the field of underwater weapons has always existed the problem of maintaining the stability, speed and range of motion of an underwater projectile. For example, a standard rifle bullet of 7.62 mm will stay in the water at distances less than 0.7 m. this is because, when driving in water, the shell creates around itself a natural cavern a cavity, free space that starts at the bow and widens in diameter along the entire body. A shell with a bad geometry of the housing is not designed for underwater conditions, will not be able to control the size and stability of the cavern will cease to support its position it will be constantly in contact with created a cavitation barrier and expend the energy to overcome it. In the end, as in the case of a bullet, the projectile completely stops.

Modern torpedoes are equipped with jet engines, have learned not only to control the generated cavitation cavity, but also to use it to achieve huge underwater speeds of up to 400 km/h (German torpedo “Barracuda”, the Russian “Shkval” torpedo) and the range of speed up to 10 km These figures are made possible exclusively thanks to the ingenious design of the shells. While in motion, in the generated cavitation bubble torpedoes almost completely avoid contact with water and, as a consequence, is able to maintain a set speed and fuel consumption for the entire route.

Engineers Juliet Marine Systems was able to find their own application developments in the field of modern underwater weapons and, in a sense, to go further. Gas turbine GHOST have a sharp corner of the head portion and elongate, with the planing surfaces of the Central and rear parts. They do resemble the well-known torpedo, but in the bow of the turbines are double propellers that, when rotated create their own cavitation cavity – an artificial underwater gaseous environment consisting of many small, like beads, bubbles with steam. The friction force arising from the contact of turbine housings with such an environment, 900 times less than in contact with water. This allows vessels GHOST to develop tremendous speed at a relatively low cost fuel. Air intake and exhaust system turbine located in the racks.

The angle of inclination of the wings of the GHOST and therefore the height of the cockpit above the water surface, can vary. Thus, the ship is able to go even in rough waters. In addition, GHOST features high stabilization characteristics. To solve the problems, “stalling”, which are associated with distortion of cavity pockets around while maneuvering at high speeds, GHOST uses four movable flaps on the front and the four flaps at the bottom of each of the turbines. “Our ship does not feel any impact of the waves. It cuts through the waves,” says Gregory Sankoff. The entire navigation system and stabilization of the vessel is driven by a powerful onboard computer, similar to those installed on the F-18. The ship is operated by two pilots, if necessary on Board will accommodate 18 people.

Speed and stealth shape make GHOST able to escape from detection by sonar or marine radar stations and avoid being hit by torpedoes. The effect of stealth complements the intricate silencing system installed on the turbines, through which to hear the noise of the engines impossible GHOST at a distance of over 50 feet. Fuel efficiency and great range of motion allows the ship for a long time to play a role virtually invisible scout, updates a variety of “classic” boats.

Currently assembled and is systematically tested only a single prototype GHOST. He is under heavy guard at a naval shipyard in Portsmouth. Meanwhile, the team of Juliet Marine System works on weapons and various modifications of the vessel. Among other things, called models with mounted machine guns, torpedo and missile facilities, detection and installation min.

According to some reports, with the 2012 secrecy with project GHOST completely cleared, indicating no great interest to him from the government of the United States. However, it is known that the U.S. Navy continue to participate in the life of the project, and the US state Department has granted Juliet Marine System permission to hold talks on deliveries of the GHOST with the governments of Israel and UAE, which have known problems in marine coastal areas.

In 2011, Juliet Marine System called the estimated cost of one instance of GHOST with a complete set of exploration equipment – $20 million. In 2015, the first prototype ship for sale, brokerage Berthon Brokerage. The price is $7.5 million.

    Egor Lanin
    Author ruYachts

    Journalist, news editor. The team ruYachts.com 2014. Major topics: motor yachts, concepts, gadgets and technology.

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  • © Photo-materials: Juliet Marine System

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