General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat
has been awarded a $5.7 million contract to support development of the Underwater Express, an undersea transport capable of controllable speeds up to 100 knots through supercavitation. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary
of General Dynamics.
This Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
-funded effort will help determine the feasibility of supercavitation technology
to enable a new class of high-speed underwater craft for future littoral missions that could involve the transport of high-value cargo and/or small units of personnel. Supercavitation involves surrounding an object with a bubble that allows it to travel at high speed. This contract contains two options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative potential value of this contract to $37.1 million.
The Underwater Express Program
will demonstrate stable and controllable high-speed underwater transport through supercavitation. The program will investigate and resolve critical technological issues associated with the physics of supercavitation and will culminate in a credible demonstration at a significant scale to prove that a supercavitating underwater craft is controllable at speeds up to 100 knots.