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Author Topic: Lockheed Sea Shadow  (Read 34740 times)

Offline flateric

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Lockheed Sea Shadow
« on: August 29, 2006, 12:31:58 pm »
Looking for pictures of Sea Shadow (especially hulls, screw propel;lers), pics in new color scheme and drawings for building my Revell kit at least. Thanx!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2006, 12:50:37 pm by flateric »
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006, 07:43:14 am »
I had read  that the plan for the Sea Shadow was a production version armed with Patriot missiles and an LPI radar to scout ahead of carrier battle groups and attack Soviet bombers before they could launch their cruise missles. Anyone heard of this proposal?

It's mentioned in Bill Sweetman's book Lockheed Stealth.

Offline fightingirish

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 01:55:20 am »
Yes, I also read that in superb book "Skunk Works" from Ben R. Rich & Leo Janos.
Quote
13 "The Ship that never was", page 298:
...We could arm it with 64 Patriot-type missiles and send it over 300 miles ahead of the carrier Task force as an invisible amphibious SAM missile site. We'd shoot down the Soviet Attack aircraft, before they got in missile range of the fleet. ...

But they forgot the unwritten Rule 15 of Kelly Johnson rules: "Don't deal with the US Navy!"
 ;) ;D
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Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 01:11:31 pm »
Or the variation of Kelly Johnson's rules- "Starve before doing business with the US Navy!"

Offline flateric

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2006, 12:13:15 am »
And may be something about photos, friends?
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2006, 12:22:19 am »
I can't find any photos worth posting. There are nice models (real and CGI) which show the below water catamaran hulls, but no photos of this.
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Offline JAZZ

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2006, 11:49:41 pm »
A couple that may be of use?

Offline flateric

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 02:28:02 pm »
The Navy Has a Top-Secret Vessel It Wants to Put on Display Sea Shadow and Its Satellite-Proof Barge Need a Home; Plotting in Providence
By BARRY NEWMAN

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Anybody want some top-secret seagoing vessels? The Navy has a pair it doesn't need anymore. It has been trying to give them away since 2006, and they're headed for the scrap yard if somebody doesn't speak up soon.

One is called Sea Shadow. It's big, black and looks like a cross between a Stealth fighter and a Batmobile. It was made to escape detection on the open sea. The other is known as the Hughes (as in Howard Hughes) Mining Barge. It looks like a floating field house, with an arching roof and a door that is 76 feet wide and 72 feet high. Sea Shadow berths inside the barge, which keeps it safely hidden from spy satellites.

The barge, by the way, is the only fully submersible dry dock ever built, making it very handy -- as it was 35 years ago -- for trying to raise a sunken nuclear-armed Soviet submarine.

"I'm fascinated by the possibilities," Frank Lennon said one morning recently. Mr. Lennon runs -- or ran -- a maritime museum here in Providence. He was standing in a sleet storm on a wharf below a power plant, surveying the 297-foot muck-encrusted hulk of a Soviet submarine that he owns. His only exhibit, it was open to the public until April 2007, when a northeaster hit Providence and the sub sank.

Army and Navy divers refloated it this past summer with the aid of chains and air tanks. Mr. Lennon can't help but imagine how his sub might look alongside the two covert Cold War castoffs from the Navy. "They would be terrific for our exhibit," he said, watching the sleet come down.

But a gift ship from the Navy comes with lots of strings attached to the rigging. A naval museum, the Historic Naval Ships Association warns, is "a bloodthirsty, paperwork ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole..." Because the Navy won't pay for anything -- neither rust scraping nor curating -- to keep museums afloat, survival depends on big crowds. That's why many of the 48 ships it has given away over 60 years were vessels known for performing heroically in famous battles.

Museum entrepreneurs like Mr. Lennon who don't have much money can only fantasize about Sea Shadow and its barge. After all, a pair of mysterious vessels that performed their heroics out of the public eye can't have much claim to fame. Glen Clark, the Navy's civilian ship-disposal chief, has received just one serious call about the two vessels, and it didn't lead to a written application.

The Navy's insistence on donating Sea Shadow and the barge as a twofer may also explain the lack of interest. Here is the Navy's vision for a museum display as Mr. Clark describes it:

"When you're driving down the road, you can't see the Sea Shadow. You have to pay for your ticket to go on board the Hughes Mining Barge, and then you see the Sea Shadow. That has the capability of preserving the aura of secrecy of the program."

Possibly. It might also cause drivers to drive right by the hulking rust-bucket without devoting a thought to stopping.


FRANK LENNON
The Hughes Mining Barge actually has nothing to do with mining or with the late, reclusive Mr. Hughes. He merely let the Central Intelligence Agency use his name in 1974 to cover up its mission to raise a Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

The adventure was publicized as the expedition of another new vessel, the Hughes Glomar Explorer, to mine for minerals on the seabed. To grab a sub, the ship needed a giant claw. But because it was big and unwieldy, the claw couldn't be installed in the ship at dockside. That's where the "mining" barge came in.

The claw was assembled inside it. According to Curtis Crooke, retired president of Global Marine Development Inc., the company that did the work, the barge with the claw inside was then towed off the California coast and submersed. The Glomar Explorer was positioned over it, and the claw hoisted into its belly.

Then the Explorer went sub hunting (exactly how much of the sub it retrieved, if anything, has never been declassified) and the barge went into mothballs.

"That's all it was used for," says Mr. Crooke, "to put the claw inside the Explorer." Would the barge work as a museum? "It's just a big old dumb barge," he says. "Now, the Sea Shadow, that's a way-out spacey kind of thing. You could tell a story about that."

The Glomar Explorer was refitted as a drill ship. The barge -- thanks to its satellite-proof roof -- got a second secret job for the Navy and its contractor, Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. In the early 1980s, Sea Shadow was assembled inside it. At a cost later put at $195 million, it aimed to attain the same invisibility at sea that it had in the federal budget.

Sea Shadow, 160 feet long and 70 feet wide, was the Navy's first experimental stealth ship. Its special coatings, sharp angles and other confidential doohickeys allowed it to baffle radar and sonar. Viewed bow-on, it looks like a squat letter "A" standing on two submerged pontoons for exceptional stability on rough seas.

From the start, Sea Shadow moved at night, towed from its California dock inside its barge and launched onto the open sea to sail on its own in darkness.

S.K. Gupta, now a vice president at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, was in the crew. He recalls watching a glass of Coke on the bridge barely ripple in 12-foot waves. In war games with the Navy off San Diego, he says, "We operated during the night with impunity. We could disappear and sneak up on whomever we wanted. Nobody thought we could do it. A ship is usually hard to hide."

The Navy brought Sea Shadow out of the shadows for daylight tests in 1993, setting off a flash of publicity. It hit the cover of Popular Mechanics. Revell made a plastic model. A mad media mogul used a Sea Shadow look-alike to foment war between Britain and China in a 1997 James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies."

In 2006, its experimental life at an end, Sea Shadow and the barge it was boxed in were struck from the Navy's register and tied up in Suisun Bay, near San Francisco. The technologies it developed have sired a generation of land-attack destroyers and ocean-surveillance ships. "Sea Shadow is the mother of all stealth ships in the world," says Mr. Gupta. It ought to be displayed out in the open on dry land, he thinks, its invisibility visible to all.

The Navy's Mr. Clark says, "We're looking at that option." In December, Sea Shadow got a one-year reprieve from the junk yard. And in Providence, Mr. Lennon got one more year to dream.

Retreating from the sleet, he was in the Sealand Diner eating breakfast with Ed Sciaba. Mr. Lennon is 66 years old and an ex-Green Beret. Mr. Sciaba, 54, is a scrap dealer ready to tow Mr. Lennon's sunken Soviet sub to his yard.

Mr. Sciaba knew nothing of Sea Shadow or the CIA's sub-raising venture. As Mr. Lennon recounted the details, he got excited.

"Hell of an idea," he said. "That's a museum I'd go to."

"You could tell the story of the Cold War," said Mr. Lennon.

Mr. Sciaba banged his coffee mug on the table. "Let's go get 'em and tow 'em back here!" he said. Mr. Lennon turned his gaze to the storm outside, and Mr. Sciaba picked up the check.

Write to Barry Newman at barry.newman@wsj.com

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A1
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline V8Interceptor

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 06:02:45 pm »
I live in the Providence area about 2 miles from the submarine mentioned above and well I admire these guys for dreaming big dreams so far their  ambitions have been larger than their ability to pull off getting the museum off the ground. They have been trying since the mid 90's to acquire the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (which is moored in Newport, RI) but they have just never been able to get their financing and organization together enough to really get going. It is a difficult proposition in our area as we have two major Naval Museums operating within a 40 miles radius (The USS Massachusetts museum is 20 minutes away in Fall River, Ma. and the USN's own Submarine musuem featuring the USS Nautilus in 40 minutes south in Groton, Ct.). When the Russian Juliett class submarine that they had opened as an attraction sank they did not have funds to salvage it, it was fortunate for them that the USN and the US ARMY stepped in and raised the Sub as a salvage diver training exercise. However the effects of being on the bottom for over a year mean that the vessel will be scrapped.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 09:59:31 am by flateric »

Offline flateric

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 10:39:20 am »
pity to read...
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline flateric

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 10:40:02 am »
quite a rare pic of Sea Shadow hull details in a dry dock from Revell kit box
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 10:41:42 am by flateric »
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline Creative

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 03:07:01 pm »
Starboard pod?  Fins are inboard?

Offline flateric

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 03:11:21 pm »
exactly
Revell kit quite correct in terms of geometry
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline RP1

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 06:13:58 pm »
Flateric,

That picture of the underwater hull is very interesting. No antifouling paint, only sacrificial anodes for cathodic protection.

I suspect you have seen these:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/sea_shadow-gallery.htm

Sea Shadows paint scheme was either changed several times, or was sufficiently reflective to adopt the ambient colour (as modern naval paint schemes do).

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Offline flateric

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Re: Lockheed Sea Shadow
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 06:23:32 pm »
It was repainted once ca.1999
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works