How is this possible? Well, the Underwater Express uses something called "supercavitation," which is when a bubble of gas is formed around a speeding object, allowing it to move much faster than it should. This effect is usually reserved for torpedoes, which, as a reminder, are commonly intended to crash into things and explode.
One of the big drawbacks for torpedoes that use this method (like the Russian Shkval) is that they're not super-good when it comes to maneuverability and steering. It's bad enough when we're talking a big block of explosives, but what about when they're transporting important stuff like, oh, people? In fact, they're currently testing a 100-knot prototype of the Underwater Express just to see if they can steer it at all.
The fact that this thing looks like a bullet isn't exactly encouraging.
If all goes well, the military plans to set up a comprehensive network of human torpedoes ferrying people and materials across large bodies of water, totally not crashing into one another. The Underwater Express was conceived by (you guessed it) DARPA, probably after someone there saw this poster:
"Who is that man and how is he doing that?! Find him now!"
Danny Vittore is a freelance writer. If for one reason or another you want to contact him, his email is Dannyvittore@gmail.com
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