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The Military

DARPA Hydra: An Unmanned Sub Mothership to Deploy Drones 78

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the programmed-to-exterminate-commie-dolphins dept.
garymortimer tips more news about the rise of our robotic overlords. DARPA is now investigating military drone submarines as launch platforms for UAVs. Quoting John Keller at Military & Aerospace Electronics: "The Hydra program will develop and demonstrate an unmanned undersea system with a new kind of unmanned-vehicle delivery system that inserts UAVs and UUVs stealthily into operational environments to respond quickly to situations around the world without putting U.S. military personnel at risk. The Hydra large UUV is to use modular payloads inside a standardized enclosure to deploy a mix of UAVs and UUVs, depending on the military situation. Hydra will integrate existing and emerging technologies in new ways to create an alternate means of delivering a variety of payloads close to where they're needed, DARPA officials say."
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DARPA Hydra: An Unmanned Sub Mothership to Deploy Drones

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  • by m1ndcrash (2158084) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:12PM (#44364045)
    Soon years of playstation experience will be worth putting on the resume!
  • Japanese Subs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:16PM (#44364091)

    This reminds me during WW2 Japenese developed subs that could surface and open a tiny hangar which launched 1-3 small planes. Sometimes scouts, sometimes bombers. The planes could land on water next to the sub, which had a crane to lift the plane back into the hangar.

    • Re:Japanese Subs (Score:4, Informative)

      by gadget junkie (618542) <gbponz@libero.it> on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:32PM (#44364277) Journal

      This reminds me during WW2 Japenese developed subs that could surface and open a tiny hangar which launched 1-3 small planes. Sometimes scouts, sometimes bombers. The planes could land on water next to the sub, which had a crane to lift the plane back into the hangar.

      they were intended to drop incendiary bombs on forests.

      • Re:Japanese Subs (Score:4, Informative)

        by Deadstick (535032) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:46PM (#44364405)

        they were intended to drop incendiary bombs on forests.

        There was also a plan to attack the Panama Canal. One of the airplanes is preserved at the National Air & Space Museum.

        • Re:Japanese Subs (Score:5, Informative)

          by Digital Ebola (29327) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @04:22PM (#44364805) Homepage

          There was a good story told at the National Air & Space Museum about that plane. One of the Japanese pilots came to the museum and looked the plane over. He was asked about the "optional" floats that would allow the plane to land. The researchers of the plane did not understand where the floats would be stored on the submarine, as the submarine was pretty small and packed very tightly. The pilot replied that they never took floats and that the plane was never supposed to ever come back.

          Pretty sobering. I believe the example that's in the National museum was recovered from a factory just after the war.

          • by Deadstick (535032)

            the plane was never supposed to ever come back.

            Well, in principle, the pilot could fly back to the boat and bail out.

            The Brits did something like that on a trial basis in WW1: An airplane would be catapulted off a ship, fly a recon mission, then ditch in the water and the pilot would be fished out. Since the price of an airplane in those days was about the same as one 14-inch shell for a battleship, the economics weren't that bad.

          • That Japanese submarine would be the I-400 class [wikipedia.org]. I do not see a recovery mechanism working properly on a submersible carrier without using VTOL craft. It would be a lot more practical for the UCAVs to be drone helicopters. The ideal situation would be if you could launch and recover the drones while submerged much like you can launch missiles while submerged.

        • by BennyE (213190)

          One of them was used in a successful reconnaissance flight over Sydney before Sydney was attacked with midget submarines in 1942

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Sydney_Harbour#Prelude

          Quote "The aircraft was damaged or destroyed on landing, although its two crew survived"

      • by khallow (566160)

        they were used to drop incendiary bombs on forests.

        FIFY. The purpose of those planes was primarily for recon. They could do ground attacks, but Japan was really desperate to use them for burning forests.

      • This reminds me during WW2 Japenese developed subs that could surface and open a tiny hangar which launched 1-3 small planes. Sometimes scouts, sometimes bombers. The planes could land on water next to the sub, which had a crane to lift the plane back into the hangar.

        they were intended to drop incendiary bombs on forests.

        There was also a plan to drop fleas infected with bubonic plague on U.S. cities. Test bombings were conducted on the Chinese cities of Ningbo and Changde by Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731 [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:Japanese Subs (Score:4, Interesting)

      by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:53PM (#44364497)
      Some of those Jap subs were actually very large and sophisticated. One three hulled (3 tubes) sub surrendered of the East(!) coast of the US after the end of the war and was scuttled by the US Navy. I saw pics of it somewhere long ago. The centre hull held the fold wing plane.
    • by AvitarX (172628)

      Except those subs were probably fairly autonomous.

      This looks like something being invented that will only be useful against very low tech enemies (good luck sending control signals without giving away your location).

      If perhaps it was able to get into a general area autonomously (or only receiving signals), and launch payloads that then themselves connected to the remote pilot it could work, but as I see it, it's going to be a sub shouting "I am here", which kind of defeats the purpose.

      Yes, with perhaps 50%

      • (good luck sending control signals without giving away your location).

        What, they stopped using satellites for that?

    • Submarine aircraft carrier: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_aircraft_carrier [wikipedia.org]

  • Proof! (Score:3, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:21PM (#44364145)

    Proof that the US government truly has gone evil: They've named their latest drone carrier after the terrorist organization in GI Joe.

    • Re:Proof! (Score:5, Informative)

      by TeamSPAM (166583) <flynnmj.email@com> on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:25PM (#44364181) Homepage
      The terrorist organization in GI Joe is Cobra. Hydra is a terrorist organization in the Marvel Universe fighting SHIELD and Captain America.
      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        Paging Joss Whedon...

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Sparticus789 (2625955)

        I am so glad you corrected the OP. I am really sick and tired of people getting facts about fake things wrong! ./sarcasm-off.sh

        • I'm also glad he corrected the OP. It's like the war between Vulcan and Endor*, never ending.

          * I know what I did.

        • M2: Everything is true.
          GP: Even false things?
          M2: Even false things are true.
          GP: How can that be?
          M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.

      • The terrorist organization in GI Joe is Cobra. Hydra is a terrorist organization in the Marvel Universe fighting SHIELD and Captain America.

        Well... it's been awhile since I watched cartoons.

      • I don't know if the original poster knew this or not, but he is correct in a roundabout way. When Hasbro relaunched G.I. Joe in the 80s, they wanted a comic book series to go along with it. Marvel had a plan for a SHIELD vs. HYDRA series kicking around. SHIELD was replaced with G.I. Joe, HYDRA got a pallet swap and a name change, and the rest was history.
      • by xevioso (598654)

        Yes. Hydra featured prominently in the Captain America movie. The Nazis weren't evil enough, so they had a sub-group called Hydra, which was headed by Hugo Weaving/The Red Skull.

        "Heil Hydra!!!"

    • Proof that the US government truly has gone evil: They've named their latest drone carrier after the terrorist organization in GI Joe.

      Either that or a small predatory water anima. Hydra [wikipedia.org]

      • That should be: small predatory water animal.

        Or was it a Jungian slip?

        • Best joke of the day. Thank you, Sir!

      • Proof that the US government truly has gone evil: They've named their latest drone carrier after the terrorist organization in GI Joe.

        Either that or a small predatory water anima. Hydra [wikipedia.org]

        Both the DARPA project and this critter are named after the mythological water beast with many heads, a beast the Hercules battled.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lernaean_Hydra [wikipedia.org]

  • If only (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:22PM (#44364147) Journal

    Does it require 25 minerals to build these smaller drones? And can I set the "underwater carrier" to auto-build them?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Great, now I've got that noise from the drones being launched stuck in my head for the next 10 years.

    • by tsotha (720379)
      Sure, but no gas, so it's okay.
  • lazy (Score:2, Funny)

    by maliqua (1316471)

    Now you can't even be bothered to show up to your own wars.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:25PM (#44364189)

    I'd like to get back to uses of taxes that will have some benefit rather than projects to aid in killing people whose leaders are not currently popular with us.

    • Sorry, "Ooh! Shiny!" appears to be more important to some loser with mod points.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      I'd like to get back to uses of taxes that will have some benefit rather than projects to aid in killing people whose leaders are not currently popular with us.

      they're also used in killing people who's leader is unpopular in his land but popular in limited USA circles.. I mean really, how popular was Saleh in USA anyways?

    • by tsotha (720379)

      Submersible drones are used almost entirely for mine clearing. There are much cheaper ways to destroy ships.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't remember Benghazi or Fast and Furious. Remeber Obama's son, Trayvon.

    • by GigG (887839)
      We've always killed people that we don't like as have our enemies. At least with drones we don't have to risk our pilots life.
  • CobrAAAAAAAAAA!

  • by mi (197448) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @03:49PM (#44364439) Homepage
    Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because robots are committing violence on their behalf. -- George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism" [orwell.ru]
  • The UAV portion launched from this can not land on it, so it's disposable?

    • by tsotha (720379)
      Yes. The USN has already demonstrated deployment of Aeroenvironment's Switchblade [navaldrones.com] drone from a Trident submarine. It sort of a cross between a drone and a cruise missile. It can loiter fifteen minutes after launch and has a tiny three pound warhead for attacking slow-moving targets.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Former US Navy submariner here,
    So imagine that we build 100,000 of these things and they all come with solar cells on top. We deploy them all over the world, along every coast line, and they just sit there, for years, waiting for us to need them. We could deploy them locally from our submarines or launch them from our bases in Guam, Hawaii, or the East Coast and let them swim to their destinations. Some of them are for surveillance, armed with UAVs, and some of them, like current aeria

  • ... they give unmanned vehicles nuclear / ICBM capabilities? How long before we see a takeover by a hostile/terrorist state of such an unmannded carrier and actually resulting in a REAL war. Computers shouldn't be put in control of heavy weaponry. The good old finger on mechanical trigger should do the job. We here on slashdot should realize the implications of giving computers "control" over WMD (which include ICMB). Doesn't this worry anybody here on slashdot? Some of us are capable of finding a buffer
    • by tsotha (720379)
      If we were going to put computers in control of nukes we would have done it long ago with ICBMs. I don't think there's any appetite for nuclear armed autonomous drones.
    • by GigG (887839)
      What do you think a cruise missile is. They've had the ability to have nuclear warheads since their inception.
    • To be honest, I trust well debugged and tested programming more than I trust people.

      I, for one, welcome our future robotic overlords.
  • So DARPA likes to play Carrier Command for real? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_Command [wikipedia.org]

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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