When the U.S. Marines and Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in June 1944 over 200,000 Allied forces lost their lives in a matter of weeks. Now, courtesy of some futuristic military technology, “storming a beach” can be done from a completely remote location with some machine-gun wielding robots and not a single human casualty.
Per a recent Fox News note, in addition to miniature robot tanks, the Navy and Marine Corps have been quietly testing about 50 new fascinating technologies at Camp Pendleton, at the Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2017, in California. Among other things, new gadgets include speedboats that instantly transform into small stealthy submarines that can dive beneath the surface to avoid detection.
First up, meet the Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) unit designed by General Dynamics.
The ATV-sized robots are mounted with machine guns that can charge up a beach and drive themselves, while helping dismount small units.
Surf, sand and steep inclines are not going to stop the water-friendly MUTTs. The vehicles drive on tracks, or wheels, and there are two wheeled variants: 8×8 and 6×6.
The robot can be mounted with a range of different weapons, including machine guns.
The Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun that weighs about 84 pounds is one option. Others include the belt-fed fully automatic FN Hershel 240B medium machine gun and the classic SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon M249).
Beyond machine guns, they’ve also been successfully kitted out with options like 60mm mortars.
And here’s another look:
Next up, and something that looks as if were lifted straight out of a Batman flic, is the ‘HyperSub’, designed by Reynolds Marion, which can serve as a speedboat operating on the surface of the water or quickly dive beneath the water to avoid detection.
Aside from the hybrid speedboat-submarine being worthy of a Hollywood summer blockbuster, it could potentially be used for tasks like scouting and surveillance. It could travel rapidly ahead of the fleet speeding along the surface.
Marion calls the hybrid Fathom, a “HyperSub.” A specific model was created and brought to this exercise with details rather hush hush. But in general, the HyperSub can deploy from a beach or a dock and with its two 480-hp Yanmar 6LY3-ETP diesel engines reach cruising speeds of 38 mph.
To evade enemy detection, it could dive beneath the surface. Able to recharge dive air and batteries, the vehicle can dive repeatedly. It is designed to provide protection from pressure changes.
The HyperSub has more than 30,000 pounds of lift on demand. When the “coast is clear,” the Fathom can surface again and zip along the shore conducting surveillance.
Of course, these are just the toys the U.S. military is willing to show us…