2004-12-20 Application filed by US Department of Navy
Submarine short-range defense system
Disclosed is a launch system of an affixed lower section of launch tubing and an upper section of launch tubing configured to telescope vertically from a stowed position within the hull of a submarine to a position just above the ocean surface for a launch operation of a projectile, with the upper section returning to a stowed position after the launch operation. The launch system is capable of launching a projectile to engage air contacts by the discharge of high pressure fluid air, through the length of the upper and lower sections to impact the projectile for launch. The launch system includes surveillance, command and control elements as well as operational connection to additional projectile stowage and a supply of high pressure fluid. The projectile in use with the launch system can support surveillance and communications operations.
A submerged submarine is vulnerable to attack from directly above, particularly by airborne weapons launched at short range. If an enemy aircraft, or even a small surface craft, can establish its position over a submarine, there is no present defensive capability on the submarine to counter such a threat of attack. [...]
As a result, a short range defensive weapon system for submarines is needed. It should be an objective of the launch system to store small anti-air weapons inside the hull of a submarine, and launch them into the air space above the submarine while the submarine remains submerged at periscope depth. It should also be an objective of the launch system to launch such weapons while the submarine is on the surface. The proposed system described in this disclosure would accomplish those objectives and would offer other significant features that are currently unavailable to submarines, such as deployment of anti-missile decoy countermeasures.
FIG. 1 shows a schematic of the launch system of the present invention located with a submarine;
FIG. 2 shows a schematic of the launch system of the present invention in a launch position with a section of the launch system extended from the submarine;
FIG. 5 shows a schematic of a small drone aircraft as a surveillance projectile from the launch system of the present invention; and
FIG. 6 shows a schematic of a canister with inflatable balloon as an alternative surveillance projectile for use with the launch system of the present invention.