A Concept of Operations for a New Deep-Diving Submarine
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The nation has one deep-diving nuclear research submarine-the NR-1. The NR-1 was built in 1969. Its design for prolonged 30-day operation on or near the sea bottom at a speed of up to 4 knots separated it from the majority of other deep submersibles. These had been essentially adjuvant vehicles operated from surface vessels, thereby either subject to conditions in the water column or on the surface, and having limited mobility. The NR-1 has been employed for the past 32 years in a wide range of missions. NR-1 missions included support to national agencies, which had found other assets limited in their ability to complete such tasks as mapping the Challenger debris field despite inclement weather or locating important forensics information from the Egypt Air Flight 990 disaster. The NR-1 has also been used in support of maritime archaeology, scientific research, and military operations. The NR-1 is a small nuclear submarine, but the ancillary equipment on board used in the aforementioned missions also readily supports national security missions. The ships endurance is limited only by its food and air supply. Unlike most nuclear submarines, it has viewports and the crew can handle small objects with manipulators. NH-1 has two retractable rubber-tired wheels that support it on the ocean bottom. It has thrusters to maintain depth without forward movement, to move laterally, and to rotate within its own length. The Navy anticipates that the NR-1 will require refueling or replacement by 2012.
- Submarine Engineering