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The Remarkable USS Jimmy Carter

By Globe Composite | January 16, 2024

Commissioned in 2005, the nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is one of the most remarkable vessels ever to sail the seas. This Seawolf-class marvel is no ordinary submarine. It hums with unmatched speed, stealth, and weaponry even compared to more modern boats. It is also the most expensive SSN submarine the US Navy has ever built, costing over $3.5 billion two decades ago. Like a character in a superhero comic, this is a unique super-sub that underwent classified modifications by the military, producing enhanced physical capabilities that sets it apart from all other submarines.

Its amazing capabilities has earned its crew the Navy's highest honor: the Presidential Unit Citation for "extraordinary heroism in action against an enemy."

Topics: Submersibles, Defense

Exploring the Ocean's Depths

By Globe Composite | July 18, 2023

The Earth's oceans cover more than 70% of the planet's surface, yet much of their mysterious depths remain unexplored. When describing the ocean, it is useful to break the sea up into regions by levels of depth, from the surface to the bottom. These sections are known as Pelagic Zones. The word pelagic is derived from ancient Greek meaning 'open sea'. Conditions in the ocean change with depth: pressure increases; temperature and light decrease; salinity, oxygen, and micronutrients all change as well.  There are five different Pelagic layers encompassing all open waters beyond the coastal regions. Each zone presents unique environments for life on earth, but also challenges for exploration due to their vastness and inaccessibility. The development and utilization of submersibles has revolutionized our understanding of these aquatic realms, and has helped us in unraveling the mysteries of each pelagic zone.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

The Dreadnought Class of Submarines

By Globe Composite | July 22, 2022

The word “dreadnought” (or dreadnaught) dates back to the late 17th century, where it described a fearless warrior- one who dreaded naught. This moniker was later given to the first modern battleship of the early 20th century, the Royal Navy's HMS Dreadnought, one of the most fearsome naval warships in existence when launched in 1906. The HMS Dreadnought battleship featured the absolute latest in naval innovations of the time, namely a new steam turbine propulsion system, and unprecedented “all-big-gun” firepower, delivered by a plethora of heavy-caliber guns.

The Royal Navy will soon launch a new class of Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs) as the successor to its current Vanguard-Class subs, and in 2016 appropriately named it the Dreadnought-Class. Like its battleship namesake, the Dreadnought-Class of SSBNs will feature the cutting-edge of naval propulsion design, incredible firepower, as well as several features that will make it unique even among other modern submarines.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

The “X-Factor” in Columbia-Class Submarine Design

By Globe Composite | September 1, 2021

The Columbia-class submarine now under construction by GDEB, will be the most advanced SSBN in the world and the largest submarine ever built by the United States. The SSBN classification is the US Navy acronym for a Submarine armed with Ballistic missiles, that is Nuclear-powered. The SSBNs have a different primary function than SSN fast attack submarines, and need different design features as well. As part of America's Nuclear Triad, an SSBN’s mission is to keep its position a secret, while serving as a strategic ballistic missile platform. Compare that to an SSN’s mission of actively seeking out and engaging all enemy targets in a wide range of environments. One of the interesting design changes made to the Columbia-class, is the switch to an “X-Stern” configuration of rudder/planes, from the existing “cross-shape” design now seen on Ohio-class SSBNs and Virginia-class SSN boats. Why did the US Navy decide to move to an X-shaped stern control plane design?

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

Stealth vs. Deception- the U-Boats and Q-Ships of WW1

By Globe Composite | January 19, 2021

From 1914 – 1918, humanity experienced the global conflict we now refer to as World War One. The rise of industrial capabilities and a wide range of technological advances, enabled "The Great War" to become one of the deadliest conflicts in history. WW1 has been described as the clash between 20th-century technology and 19th-century tactics. The significant advances in war machines on the sea, air and land created seemingly unstoppable weapons of mass destruction on every front. After suffering the horrifying effects of these newly devised technologies, both sides scrambled to provide a response. In some cases, new technologies were quickly developed, and in others new tactics were employed. This is a look at the rise of U-Boat technology and the resulting Q-Ship tactics used to counter their effectiveness.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

The Iranian Submarine Threat

By Globe Composite | January 14, 2020

Many people are familiar with the Battle of Thermopylae, the source of enduring "This is Sparta" memes from the 2007 action movie “300”. The battle was fought in 480 BC, between an alliance of Greek city-states led by King Leonidas of Sparta, against an army of the Persian Empire amassed by Xerxes. While the film was a fictionalized retelling of historical events, it does remind us that the West has long had military conflicts with Persia, or as it officially calls itself now, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

Marine Composites

By Globe Composite | September 13, 2018

Many markets have benefited from the advance of composites, but perhaps none more so than the Recreational and Commercial Marine industries. Building vessels that can meet the exacting demands of a water environment, especially a saltwater one, has always been a challenge. Life at sea means continual exposure to harsh elements - including direct sunlight, wind and water pressure, the corrosive effect of saltwater, as well as man-made factors such as diesel fuel, lubricants, and other chemicals.

Composites provide some of the best solutions to issues caused by these marine conditions. From stronger FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) boat hulls and interiors, to corrosion-resistant marine parts, to specialized submersible components, marine composites have revolutionized what is possible. 

Topics: Marine, Science of Composites, Submersibles, Industrial, Composite Applications

A Brief History of Anti-Submarine Warfare

By Globe Composite | August 9, 2018

Submarines are once again being recognized as a key factor in maintaining a powerful military. Historically it has proved impossible for a country to keep global military status, without dominance at sea. Since World War I, it has also been impossible for surface ships to hold dominance at sea, without the use of submarines. In fact, today the use of submarines is not only pivotal to naval campaigns, but with their growing cruise and ballistic missile capabilities, subs are also an important part of any major land offensive.

Even before a conflict arises, a submarine’s ability to deploy military strength to an area without being detected is strategically invaluable. Conversely then, the ability to neutralize an opponent’s underwater force must be a primary objective. As submarines become more pivotal to military success, never before has Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) been more important.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

The Silent Service is Listening

By Globe Composite | May 15, 2018

While the defining aspect of the Silent Service is stealth, that is only half the story. If submarines where people, they would be described as the strong silent type, great listeners and keenly aware of those around them.  

Though an anthropomorphized submarine sounds like a very “sensitive” being, they are really more like sharks, whose sensitive ability to “hear” their environment allows them to be the ultimate underwater hunters.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense

The “Silent Service” becomes even quieter

By Globe Composite | March 8, 2018

The defining aspect of Submarines, has always been stealth. From the first human powered submersible to the latest nuclear-powered subs, the effectiveness of these underwater vehicles is based on not being detected. Once a sub is hidden beneath the waves, its next best tactic is to remain quiet. If a submarine cannot be seen or heard, then it can’t be found, attacked and destroyed.

Topics: Marine, Submersibles, Defense