Posted 21 декабря 2022, 10:47

Published 21 декабря 2022, 10:47

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

London intends to create a fleet of underwater drones

21 декабря 2022, 10:47
Фото: Соцсети
The Royal Navy is looking to build 27-ton underwater drones to combat traditional crewed submarines, including the current Astute-class nuclear submarines.

Alexander Sychev

The Royal Navy has ordered Plymouth-based MSubs the first unmanned submarine developed under the Spearhead anti-submarine warfare program. The ship will be built in two years and handed over to the fleet for testing and "developing a vision for future submarine wars".

MSubs named the underwater drone Cetus (Ket), after the mythological sea monster that Poseidon created and sent to oppress Ethiopia. The mission failed because another god, Perseus, intervened and killed Ketes as he prepared to swallow Andromeda, who had been sacrificed to him. To put it bluntly, the British chose an unfortunate name for their over £15 million superweapon. The sailors are quite superstitious and could hardly wish their "monster" such a quick and sad end.

Apparently, in the London tops they did not go into the details of the myth. For officials, the main argument was that the monster scared everyone, and in turn, like Poseidon, they placed high hopes on him. “One hundred and twenty years ago, the Royal Navy had the foresight to invest in Holland I, Britain's first submarine, which revolutionized naval warfare above and below the waves. Cetus is our first project to build large scale unmanned submarines. Cetus can change the way we fight underwater, just like the Holland I boats did, ”said Sir Ben Kee, First Naval Lord Admiral, when signing the contract.

With a length of 12 meters and a diameter of 2.2 meters, a submarine weighing 17 tons is placed in a sea container. In it, the British plan to transport the submarine anywhere in the world to perform combat missions. The power plant of the drone is powered by batteries, the charge of which is enough to cover up to a thousand nautical miles (about 1.8 thousand kilometers).

The immersion depth of the apparatus is not disclosed. It is only said that the "Ket" will dive deeper than anyone, which will allow him to covertly move and track enemy naval activity. A wide range of radars, sonars and other sensors will allow for effective reconnaissance. Cetus will be able to recognize ships and submarines, monitor critical infrastructure such as deep sea cables and pipelines and destroy them in the same way as the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

Nothing is known about the armament of Cetus yet. Obviously, he will be able to lay mines or use torpedoes. The entire payload will be placed in modules, from which drones will be assembled to perform certain tasks. In each set of modules, only power and electronic equipment will be permanent. The submarine will have to have maximum autonomy, but respond to operator commands.

Whether Cetus will become part of the British submarine fleet or the function of this drone will be limited to developing technologies, the British Admiralty is still speculating, but, judging by the statements of representatives of the department, London has far-reaching plans. They are already dreaming of building 27-ton underwater drones that will have to work side by side with traditional crewed submarines, including the current Astute-class nuclear submarines, the most modern type of submarines in the British Navy. With them, they will play the role of "faithful squires", ready to penetrate where people are careful to climb, conduct reconnaissance and deliver unexpected blows behind enemy lines.

As far as Cetus will cope with such tasks, tests will show. After all, the appearance of Perseus cannot be ruled out. In addition, a large autonomous submarine is not a simple device. No one has yet managed to move beyond experimental prototypes or small drones with a narrow specialization and almost continuous communication with operators.