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Ghost stealth boat moves on gas layer around hull

Juliet Marine's Ghost stealth boat produces a gas layer around its hull to move it through water with 900 times less friction.

"Any Navy possessing Ghost technology could operate in international waters undetected and would have an overwhelming advantage against conventional ships," maker Juliet Marine Systems says. Juliet Marine

A New Hampshire company says it has developed a stealth boat that can reduce water friction by a factor of 900 by producing a layer of gas around its underwater hull.

Juliet Marine Systems recently released photos of its Ghost boat, claiming it can travel up to 60 mph. The craft could be used to protect Navy and other ships from pirate attacks and other enemies.

The Ghost produces an effect in the water called supercavitation. Seen in some torpedoes, it can occur when an object moves fast enough through water to lower the pressure and create a gas bubble, reducing drag.

Juliet says the Ghost is the first supercavitating craft of its kind, and a 150-foot version is under construction in collaboration with a defense contractor.

"A squadron of Ghosts would not be detectable to seeking enemy ship radar and sensors," it said in a release (PDF). "Ghost can carry thousands of pounds of weapons, including Mark 48 torpedoes, and would be virtually unstoppable."

The company would not offer further details about the craft.

Although the Navy did not fund its development, it is looking at the project, according to Richard Carlin, head of the Sea Warfare and Weapons Department at the Office of Naval Research.

"At this point," Carlin said, "we are not providing any funding, we have no contract with them, and just like any technology, we're looking into whether it's something we wish to continue looking into or not."

(Via Discovery News)