New Type Narco Sub--a "Snot Boat?"

There is a new publication that appears to be the definitive source on Narco subs and related craft including semi-submersibles and un-manned, towed narco “torpedoes.” It certainly has the best selection of photographs I have ever seen on the subject.

Narco-Submarines Specially Fabricated Vessels Used For Drug Smuggling Purposes
In cooperation with InSight Crime & Small Wars Journal— El Centro
Byron Ramirez and Robert J. Bunker, Editors

And of course these could be used for smuggling in things other than drugs.

You can access the report in pdf form here.

New Type Narco Sub–a “Snot Boat?”

Columbia claims to have found their first fully submersible narco submarine. Looking at the pictures and the specs given, its apparent that this is a different sort of craft. The claimed maximum dive depth is only three meters (10′) and there is what appears to be a permanently fixed snorkel 5 meters (16.5′) in length, meaning, even when at maximum depth, the top of the snorkel will be above the surface. Unlike the true submarine found in Ecuador, there is no mention of an electric motor. It’s not really a true submersible, but it’s not a typical semi-submersible either. It seems this craft is intended for “SNOrkel Transit” so my shorthand description would be that it is a “Snot boat.”

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Real Narco Subs?

Of course we know there have been attempts to use true submersibles to transport cocaine, but this is the first I’ve heard of an effort to find them at sea. From

“Calling them “third-generation” Narco-subs, Adm. James Stavridis, supreme NATO commander said during a speech this week in Arlington, Va., that the U.S. and its allies in Latin America are using P-3s to hunt these actual submarines which have communications suites that rival some modern military subs.”

The article goes on to raise a good question, “All this begs the question, even if you can find a submarine from the sky, how do you know 100 percent who it belongs without getting it to surface? How do you get the vessel to surface for inspection during peacetime without serious kinetic action? Do authorities simply track the vessel and wait for it to arrive at its destination before moving into arrest the smugglers?”

(Thanks again to Lee for the topic)