#2252: Subooster

Many navies are engaged in building a new generation of electrically powered ships. These have many advantages such as numerous, dispersed drive units.

Today’s invention is a new form of drive unit for large ships.


Such vessels, eg aircraft carriers, would be fitted with a special underwater docking mechanism to which a nuclear submarine (or two) could attach themselves.

This would happen only if the carrier needed to get somewhere at twice its normal speed, since it renders the submarine more vulnerable than normal.

Since these subs have enormous potential power outputs, they could add their propulsive force to that of a carrier, without a correspondingly large increase in combined drag.


  1. I like it!
    Aircraft carriers on speed!
    I wonder about designing for the the fluid dynamics, hull stress, and response to unexpected changes in surrounding physical conditions to a carrier on “sub speed.”

    • Good points Nancy…I was thinking that some kind of bumper would be better than a hard dock…so that small rotations between sub and ship could be tolerated without huge stress increases (although I love the idea of crews and stores moving between vessels via a doorway). The drag increases according to v^2, but it would be possible to have the sub and ship form a streamlined whole. The major benefit is that subs are very hard to track and aircraft carriers are easy. If a carrier could be suddenly a few hundred miles further forward, it would be a major tactical advantage, I reckon.

  2. There is also the issue of cavitation at very high speed to consider. I suspect in an emergency situation, such progressive damage to the propellers would be ignored http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205143411.htm

  3. one might also be able to use the power of the airplanes on the carrier?

  4. Ever thought of using airplanes as anti rocket / torpedo missile?

    Hi Rob,
    How would that work?

    As straightforward as you can imagine.
    Start them on auto pilot and let them cross the ballistic line of the
    Recall that Japan used their zero’s in WWII as missile

    Thinking in this way, could you develop drones that attach to a missile
    (strong magnet?) and alter flight behavior?
    (think the problem is in the attaching)
    Maybe it is easier to have a number of drones in the air that could
    group themselves to become a sort of shield..

    just some morning thoughts 😉

    Hi Rob,
    Ok, now I’m with you. Maybe it comes down to economics…that the attackers can afford more incoming missiles than the defenders have jets…although drones might be a better idea…especially since you can launch a cloud of quadcopters very quickly. Torpedoes are interesting too. I could imagine a small shoal of robot torpedoes which could collectively decide on an optimal defence tactic against incoming torpedoes from numerous directions…a bit like this: http://www.patrickandrews.com/sharks-and-fishes/

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