Feeds

back to article First true submarine captured from American drug smugglers

Authorities in Ecuador say they have captured the first true submarine designed and built to smuggle drugs. "Semi-submersible" vessels have long been built for the narcotics trade, but it appears that the drug runners have now upped their game to make vessels able to travel completely underwater. "It is the first fully …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

nato reporting name

"Snort" class perhaps?

13
0

Brilliant

I love Submarines.

We named our 3rd child Akula which is the NATO reporting name for the Project 971 SSN

0
3

you...

arse.

never give your kids stupid names - hell, my name is Liam. im 35. it was only after liam gallagher was around that people didnt think my name was leon/ian and i had a speech impedement. i would say 'my name is liam', then they would say 'nice to meet you leon'. grrr

my neighbour after 10 years still calls me leon, but he is an old coffin dodger anyway.

anyway, im off to pick up my kids Han and Leia :) j/k

7
1

Er

And is the wife aware of that?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"liam gallagher" @Citizen Kaned

You should be pleased when people don't connect you with that ignorant lout Liam Gallagher.

0
0

yes she is...

And was at the time. ;-)

It is a Hindu name meaning "Transcendental and without cast" and until Liam's post, has always met with positive remarks.

3
0
Silver badge

Ahem...

And it means "Shark" in Russian...

6
0
Joke

Re: yes she is...

Take no notice of Leon. ;)

3
0
Gold badge
Happy

@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

And it means "Shark" in Russian...

That sound more like a name for a class of submarine.

I presume you mean the Type 971 attack know in Russia as pike class.

0
0

Could be worse...

I mean, a transcendental shark sounds fairly cool.

2
0
Silver badge

Only cool if..

the shark has frikkin' lasers.

1
0
Bronze badge

First?

I guess it may be the first completed one, but it reminded me of reading about one in 2000.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/915059.stm

0
0

Hiding a submarine?

Could a submarine be fairly effectively masked from much detection by shadowing a friendly surface vessel?

Could a sub even be towed underwater for the larger part of a long journey, lessening its need for long independent range, and also providing comfortable accommodation for most of the crew, etc?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

RE: Hiding

I think they kinda do this, pretty sure one of their methods of smuggling is dragging an air tight contain under water behind the boat.

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

errata:

"Could a submarine be fairly effectively masked from much detection by shadowing a friendly surface vessel?"

"buggering the whale" is what the russians call it.

oh well

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Easy enough

It doesn't need to be a friendly surface vessel, any large cargo ship will do. The big cargo vessels are rather slow and noisy so I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to hide behind until close enough to to shore to make a run to the drop point.

0
0

And they say junkies never achieve anything

Stoners, crack hos and smackheads of America: see what impressive fruits your sponging, stealing and selling yourself has borne.

7
1
Flame

That is not junkies' work by the look of it

1. Most likely that is not junkies, but "engineering consultants"

2. When the previous unfinished sub (2000) was discovered the rumour mill mentioned something about Russian/Eastern European engineers. I suspect it is once again the case. So I would wager that there were no junkies at work here. Clean white shirts, take the money and go to next contract.

3. Frankly the design looks like a replica of a small WW1/Interwar submarine of the "wet conning tower" variety. There have been a number of improvements on this since WW1 and some are present even in WW2 submarines (Shch class is an example - see hull shape). It is possible to push the carrying capacity and the submersion depth by a very large margin while staying within the same size/budget so it can be built on a river and sail downriver to the ocean.

1
0
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Missing the point

I don't think he said or even implied that junkies, hos and other assorted stoners actually went to the jungle and made a submarine. It was just a tongue in cheek comment about the unintentional side effects of their illicit habits. The junkies didn't build it - their money did.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

RE: not

his point was the druggies paid for it, not made it

0
0

We all live

in an Acapulco Gold submarine.

6
0
Silver badge

Can I be the first to put in a bid

for it when it comes up at the auction - be a real boon to my lobster collecting and should help wipe them out a lot faster than lots of pots!

1
0
Go

Ahem

US waters is perhaps not the best place to take this submarine. The US has a huge sonar line from the cold war days and it was meant to detect the best submarines that the Soviet could field. A noisy diesel clattering along would get picked up pretty quickly. Yes I know they can use their battery to stay quiet, but not long enough to get through the line, plus their aircon system and people moving about inside will probably give the game away. This is a very expensive and somewhat flawed delivery system!

Damn right the navy types would love to be chasing these things under the sea with sonar. The Caribbean tour is already one of the most popular ones due to the drug chasing action that it offers, throwing in some counter-sub warfare would just be dandy thankyouverymuch!

2
0
Megaphone

SOSUS

Yes the microphones might pick them up, but would it be able to differentiate the clanking diesel used from that of a clanking diesel in a fishing boat? Soviet subs have a specific signatures, use a commercial fishing boat engine and you get hundreds of false positives. Given the size and complexity of the subs I doubt it the crew would move about as it would drastically alter the subs trim, either sending it to the bottom or broaching to the surface. If the crew is disciplined and trained, a very effective delivery system. Remember this is the first one they have discovered being constructed, not necessarily the first one they made.

1
0
Silver badge
Pirate

RE: SOSUS

IIRC, the underwater mic system is just part of the setup, the USN feeds it into a combined picture of long-range radar and satellite imagery, so when they "hear" a fishingboat but can't find the corresponding surfaced boat it will be a sure give away.

/Skull and cutlasses, naturally! :)

0
1
FAIL

You're kidding, right?

Commercial underwater security tech like the Sonardyne Sentinel system can differentiate between air-fed and scuba divers- even rebreather-equipped divers, as well as differentiating between people, fish, ROVs, boats, subs, etc.

It is a very good system- you needn't worry about it mistaking a sub for a boat- and comes way within the budget of even police drug squads and the like.

So think what the US Navy will have been able to turn around with a rather larger budget and with the requirement of finding whatever their (presumably) just as clever Soviet counterparts could throw at them.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Build quality

Without going into details about sub construction, there is a reason why they are coated with rubber tiles and as much of the equipment as possible is mounted on springs. This tends to cost a hell of a lot of money, 4 million gets you just the kitchen I think! This sub can be useful in certain areas, but I would not want to take it anywhere near any competent anti-sub assets!

Having been in a sub construction/refit shed I want to know how the heck did these people manage to build this one without anyone finding it before it got to the swamp? You can't just stack one on top of some stilts in a jungle and then roll it to the water! Bought second hand surely?

1
0
Thumb Down

Prohibition really works doesn't it?

So the drug lords are suffering so badly under the continual pounding of the anti-drug authorites that they are upgrading from boats, via semi-subersibles, to full-scale submarines.

Makes you think . . . .

11
0
Go

@Prohibition really works doesn't it?

"Makes you think . . . ."

....that next The Druglorden will be using transporter technology like on "Star Trek".

And then this inevitable cell phone conversation...

"Beam me the drugs"

"Beam me the cash first"

"Ok, but I will beam back my cash if you don't beam me the drugs"

etc...

0
0

Doesn't surprise me

There were, for many years, two WWII style submarines sitting in an outlet of the Solent at a junk yard down in Portsmouth. One got bought by a Japanese millionaire apparently. Not sure what happened to the other. With the kind of money the drug cartels are pulling in, it really wouldn't surprise me if they went round buying these up, making them sea worthy and using them for nefarious schemes.

1
0
Silver badge

Sir

...and then leaving an old fossil around for the authorities to pick up? Cunning buggers.

0
0
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Surplus subs

About fifteen years ago, there was an ex-Russian submarine moored close to the Thames Barrier, open to visitors. It was used as a set for an episode of a TV series as well. The battery compartment was a huge empty space, which seems to get used for several sequences.

Submarine batteries are rather different from a stack of automotive batteries, worth removing to salvage the metal and chemicals, and so likely to be the big problem for this sort of idea.

If I were investigating this, I would be looking closely at the batteries, trying to identify where thy came from.

1
0

been done, so it seems.

includes a picture of an ex usn sub so sold and recovered, allegedly:

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.sappell.com/ship12/photos/fsb/drug_sub.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.sappell.com/ship12/sea_base_photos_dbgen.php&usg=__oUus4-LvADixMepo8gy9dZokC0o=&h=1200&w=1792&sz=970&hl=en&start=21&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=7PqvEDf2ujLPLM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddrug%2Bsubmarine%26start%3D20%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1

0
1

surely

running on batteries would only hide you from passive detection? Very useful if you are in a war, and sending out active detection is more likely to get you killed than anyone else.

If you are the police in your own controlled water, you wouldn't particularly be worried about being detected yourselves, and so should be able to find a sub even if it's running silently.

0
0

@Sooty

It did say in the article that deployment of active detection was very expensive over a wide area.

2
0
Boffin

Re: Active sonar

What about the Greenies along the California coast, that have been protesting and bringing about court injunctions against active sonar use and testing? Could it be that they were "targeted" onto this activity for more than the acousted (hehe) dolphins and whales?

Or are these "discovery" subs sourced by a counter ops to force "national security" overrides for the Navy's experiments and use?

0
0
Silver badge

Escalation of fun

Will DEA/USCG now use ASROC or just depth-charge them until they see oil and bubbles coming up? The latter may be difficult due to the amount of oil already on the surface courtesy of BP...

1
0

@Arkasha

Count on submarines awaiting scrappage being a somewhat dangerous technical proposition being at the end of their life. Naval diesel boats draw quite a bit of water requiring deep water access to the sea, require substantial crews and maintenance and are not likely to be the kind of thing anybody with a name resembling Escobar or Bin Laden will be allowed to purchase.

Then again.......

1
0
Anonymous Coward

It also

looks like it is being built in a muddy swamp.

Something isn't right about this story. Were they building it, or dismantling it for parts?

1
0
Flame

I think I'd like this sub....

TOASTED! With a healthy layer of napalm.

1
0

what's wrong with the standard shipping container ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodal_container

These must beat having mules going through air travel with swallowed condoms and custom-built submarines in terms of bulk delivery cost. According to Wikipedia, there are 17 million such containers around the world. All the drug smugglers have to do is contain one covert cargo inside the reported one. Such items have alternative uses, e.g. delivery of chemo/bio/nuclear warheads for rogue states and terrorist groups unable to afford a guided rocketry program.

0
0

They already do

They already do that. For certain legs of the journey.

There aren't many legitimate cargoes going on certain *other* legs of the journey, though.

0
0

Prohibition

It's insane that prohibition has put so much cash into the black economy; we risk creating meta-nation of criminals.

8
0

World Cash Economy

"It's insane that prohibition has put so much cash into the black economy; we risk creating meta-nation of criminals."

That future-tense phrasing just might actually prove a tad bit overly optimistic, my friend. As put by Marty Feldmen following the "DAMN your eyes!" Moment in /Young/ /Frankenstein/: "Sorry. Too late."

See http://worldreports.org/news for full realtime details. July 01 report's pretty much where it's been at ever since the Securitization Bubble burst due to the sudden-emerging, then ongoing lack of any more Greater Fools who might buy that gilt-edged tripe left in the world.

After that, there was only drug cash. Seems Reuters or maybe AP mentioned that point just once, in the weeks post-crash.

0
0
Pirate

Cough#

Sub hunting is akin to playing blind man's bluff with baseball bats, and at first glance it would appear that the homebrew less advanced boat would be at a distinct disadvantage. However there does exist a strategy that would tip the scales back in the narco-boats favor.

Thankfully the drug lords engineering dept appear to be focusing upon replicating previous work, so they will not quite be able to pull the trick off quite yet. Though cannot be sure, seldom do we get a look inside at the nuts and bolts of captured craft.

1
0
Pirate

Re: Sumersive manevoures

All you have to do is (like this sub) have it resemble a "biological" (animal or natural occurance) and either coat the surface or have it able to exude an attractor - phermones for whales or simple blood to attract sharks, etc. Having a slow boat at that point would be a bonus if you can seem to be just a member of a pod, etc.

Automated vehicles are also ripe for exploitation, on both sides of this artificial conflict.

1
0
Alert

Just you wait ...

... until they get a flying submarine.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727671.000

0
0
Silver badge

Prior art...

... watch Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea for one example!

0
0
Pint

we all live

in a drug-filled submarine

1
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.