Submarines: November 10, 1999


The US Navy has ordered a new submarine, the LSV-2 Cutthroat. This small sub (34m long and 3m in diameter; displacement 200 tons) is a 29.4% scale copy of the planned Virginia-class New Nuclear Submarine. It will be able to operate at the full speed and depths planned for the Virginia, and will be used to test equipment designed for the Virginias. --Stephen V Cole

TRITON is a new German submarine-launched version of the Polyphem fiber-optic-guided missile. It has a range of only 15km, compared to 60km for Polyphem, but uses 60% of the same parts. The missile is designed to provide submarines with a weapon able to engage helicopters and surface combatants. Triton has been in the preliminary design process for some time, but was suddenly pushed into quick-development when an unnamed foreign customer (presumably Israel) placed a large order for delivery as soon as possible. Because the missiles have a smaller diameter than a torpedo, a canister containing six anti-helicopter Tritons can be loaded into a single torpedo tube. Four larger 60km-range Polyphems could be loaded into a single 533mm torpedo tube in a special canister. --Stephen V Cole


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