Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sweden creates world's first operational stealth warship, the Visby

sweden-visby_main.jpgStealth bombers are cool and all, but they've been flying for 20 years and are a little old hat. The world hungers for new stealth tech, and Sweden just served up tasty morsel: the world's first operational stealth warship.

Scheduled to put to sea later this year, the Visby class corvette is designed to be electronically undetectable at distances more than 8.1 miles in rough seas and 13.8 miles in calm seas. The ship stays off radar or sonar screens thanks to its non-magnetic plastic/carbon-fiber composite hull, which has the trademark flat surfaces and sharp edges of stealth tech.

On top of that, the Visby uses watejet propulsion — most commonly found in jetskis — instead of propellers. Used as the technological basis of the stealth submarine in The Hunt for Red October, waterjet drives, while less efficient than propeller tech, are much harder to detect, particularly by submarines. No coincidence, then, that the Visby was conceived after several incursions by foreign submarines into Swedish waters in the mid '80s. Not to take anything away from your cool toy, Bj√∂rn, but those subs are probably long gone.



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