Researchers claim innovative technology can make Chinese submarines more powerful and quieter: report

At a time when countries are scrambling to find ways to improve the speed and stealth of their submarines, a research team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration has allegedly claimed that it is A newly developed pump-jet propulsion system can give Chinese submarines more thrust while reducing noisy vibrations by more than 90%.

Over a decade ago, Chinese submarines were notoriously noisy, making them easier to track. Now China has made rapid strides in redesigning and reconfiguring submarines to make them stealthier and quieter.

The ducted propeller used in some modern submarines places the rotor in a duct to create a jet of water for propulsion, according to a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report. However, there is a gap between the rotor blades and the inner wall of the duct which, although small, creates turbulence or bubbles when the blades spin rapidly, slowing the submarine and revealing its position.

A team of researchers led by Professor Hua Hongxing claimed in a paper published Oct. 10 in the Chinese journal Ship Research that they had been able to eliminate this gap between the rotor blades and the inner wall of the duct, according to the SCMP Report. To do this, the researchers reportedly dug a trench in the canal wall, allowing the rotor tips to move freely.

In order for the new design to work properly, the new pump jet needs a sealing material that can keep water out of the trench without impeding the movement of the rotor.

The Chinese researchers found the right material and built a soft gasket structure from fine fibers that could meet these requirements, but the exact nature of the material remains secret, the report added.

Simulation experiments the team conducted at a ground test facility showed that the new design could increase a pump jet’s thrust at slower speeds while significantly reducing loud vibrations “at most characteristic frequencies,” the report cites the research paper as saying .

To increase the performance and stealth of its submarines, China has undertaken a massive program of upgrading and developing its strategic nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, while employing deceptive tactics to hide their identification numbers.

The Chinese team’s design innovation comes at a time when researchers around the world are struggling to meet demand for newer technologies to improve the performance, stealth and strike capability of submarines in the face of cuts in defense funds.

Beijing, on the other hand, has invested heavily in its military modernization program with the aim of becoming the dominant force in the Asia-Pacific region and a strategic world power.

A previous report highlighted how Chinese scientists working at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory returned to China to spur the country’s developments in hypersonic missiles, drone technology and submarine programs, all of which now have a range of global impacts pose security risks.

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Fry Electronics Team

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