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Underwater Weapon System Having a Rotatable Gun

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Patent application, Filed 8 Dec 2003

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This patent application discloses an underwater weapon system having a rotating gun system mounted in a vehicle housing. The gun system includes a gun and ammunition sealed within a waterproof housing with the gun muzzle protruding from the housing. The gun system is rotatable relative to the first and second halves of the housing, while the housing can be maneuvered to rotate through a plane of rotation of the gun system as the housing moves through the water. Underwater gun systems are being developed for use in anti-mine and anti-torpedo applications. The basic systems include an underwater gun, underwater projectiles, a ship-mounted turret supporting the gun, a targeting system, and a combat system. The underwater gun shoots underwater projectiles that are specially designed for neutralization of undersea targets at ranges of 200 meters or more. The undersea targets are identified and localized with the targeting system, and the combat system provides the control commands to direct the ship-mounted turret to aim the gun at the target. Currently, underwater gun systems are mounted onboard a conventional ship by means of a retractable gun turret that deploys a rotating gun using a large hydraulic actuator. The gun is stored in a bay having a hatch on the bottom of the ship that can be opened to allow the turret and gun to be deployed there through. When deployed, the gun turret is not readily faired, thereby causing drag that results in substantial hydrodynamic loads on the deployed turret and host ship. Furthermore, for the gun system to respond rapidly to an unexpected threat, it must be continuously deployed, thereby subjecting the host ship to long-term hydrodynamic loads. This invention provides an underwater gun that can be continuously deployed without substantially affecting the ships operation, and that can be maneuvered to engage an underwater target in any direction. The gun can be towed underwater by the ship or can be self-propelled. 3 figures 7

Subject Categories:

  • Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare
  • Guns
  • Underwater Ordnance

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