“Supercavitating” boat ready for deployment.
Built by Juliet marine, the “Ghost” creates a layer of bubbles around itself to reduce friction against the water and allow for very high speeds at lower fuel costs. Its speed allows it to outrun torpedoes, and the shape allows it to remain unnoticed by radar.
The main compartment of the Ghost vessel, which houses the cockpit and controls, sits above the water in between two torpedo-shaped pontoons or “foils,” which are submerged and create all the buoyancy and propulsion for the craft. The angle of the struts that connect the foils to the command module is adjustable—so the craft can ride high in choppy seas and at high speeds (so waves don’t hit the middle part), and low in calm water and at lower speeds.
Propellers at the front of each foil generate both the forward thrust and the thin layer of bubbles which allow for the supercavitation - effectively the boat is flying through the air which it creates in the water. Specially designed “air trap fins” keep the bubbles in contact with the hull. While much secrecy surrounds the project, it has a rumoured speed of over 100mph.
The company is in talks with governments from the US, Israel, and the UAE, where it sees the boats could have a critical advantage small boats there which often take over larger ships through “swarm attacks”. The technology could also dramatically reduce costs for cargo shipping.