Drug Sub Builder Held

Slate.com is reporting the man behind the building of three true submarines intended for smuggling drugs is facing trial, and many of those who worked with him have either been tried or taken plea bargains.

If you want a refresher on the result of his efforts, there is pretty good info on one of the submarines that he produced here.

We have talked about these before and their implications for the Coast Guard. Related:

Helping Build and Maintain Narco-subs

New Type Narco Sub–a “Snot Boat?”

Narco Sub Photos and Video re Evolution of Semi-Submersibles

A True Narco Submarine–Counter Measures?

A Relatively Painless Submarine Detection Capability

If the Coast Guard should ever again decide it needs a submarine detection capability, there may be a way to add it to vessels as small as the 87 ft WPBs.

The Navy is currently fielding a new version of it’s  ASW helicopter, the MH-60R, and it’s new dipping sonar is proving much more effective than it’s predecessor.  The complete sonar system can weigh less than 600 pounds.

The Soviets also used dipping sonars, but not just on helicopters. They used them on small surface craft as well. These vessels would work in teams using a sprint and drift tactic.

The same transducer might also be hull mounted with relatively little impact. There is also the possibility that with relatively minor modifications it could be made into a towed variable depth sonar. A combination of hull mounted transducer and variable depth sonar working off the same console could offer some advantages.

Certainly not very effective for chasing nucs, and I’m not suggesting we need a big program to  look for Narco subs, but, should the need arise, it could be work against the ultra quiet but slow moving diesel electric subs that might lurk in the high noise areas of the littorals.