The Powerswim is "currently in the packaging stage," as the Pentagon's top scientists presumably try to figure out how they fuck the can fit this thing into a decent-size box and, if possible, design a logo that doesn't look completely ridiculous.
The only thing that would look sillier would be, we don't know, shoving the swimmer inside a torpedo and firing him at the enemy.
Underwater Express (Human Torpedoes)
Ah, here we go. As you find yourself zipping through the water in a huge bullet, this will be the precise point at which you, the soldier of the future, realize you are living in a Wile E Coyote cartoon.
The Underwater Express is either a submarine shaped like a torpedo or a torpedo capable of carrying people inside it, depending on how you prefer to think of it. This thing can go twice as fast as the fastest submarine in the world, leaving a trail of exploding dolphins and baby seals in its path.
"There has to be some way we can make sailing hundreds of feet underwater in a metal can less safe."
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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