Hugh Pickens writes writes "Authorities have captured a 74-foot camouflaged submarine — nearly twice as long as a city bus — with twin propellers and a 5-foot conning tower that, with a crew of four to six, has a maximum operational range of 6,800 nautical miles on the surface, can go 10 days without refueling and was probably designed to ferry cocaine underwater to Mexico. The vessel carries a payload of 9 tons of cocaine with a street value of about $250 million and uses a GPS chart plotter with side-scan capabilities, a high-frequency radio, an electro-optical periscope and an infrared camera mounted on the conning tower—visual aids that supplement two miniature windows in the makeshift cockpit. "This is the most sophisticated sub we've seen to date," says Jon Wallace who has headed the Personal Submersibles Organization, or Psubs, for 15 years. "It's a very good design in terms of shape and controls." In the meantime jungle shipbuilders continue to perfect their craft."
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