I find minisubs to be fascinating. I was writing a fiction series involving navies using all those wacky ideas in WWII that never really took off. I know the Japanese in WWII used minisubs in many applications, and there are plenty of examples of unconventional uses for vehicles.
My idea is to have a minisub that is air-dropped to increase its operational range/speed. They would be deployed in a picket ahead of enemy fleets/merchant ships. Air transport would also be extremely useful for gettting around natural obstacles, like capes, sandbars, or reefs- rather than having to navigate through a windy channel a plane could fly straight to open water and plunk the sub there. Having multiple little submarines attacking a single target might be more effective than a single submarine firing a torpedo spread, and multiple ‘layers’ of minisubs would make a nice force multiplier, with an enemy fleet constantly getting harassed. If they were carried by plane, this also means they could be land-based, allowing a plane to take off from an airbase (allowing a bigger plane to carry them, or carrying a bigger minisub). The minisubs themselves would be semi-suicide craft; theoretically they might have the range to work their way back to a friendly fleet/port, but being air-dropped would mean they might be deployed in an area where there’s simply no way to recover them.
How feasible is this? I’d be surprised if no military ever even romanced with the idea; hell the soviets had airdropped tanks dropped via parachute :eek:
I think the biggest challenge would be weight- the sub would have to be small and light enough to be carried by an airplane of reasonable range and speed, yet have a torpedo warhead strong enough to be an actual threat to larger ships, and enough speed and range to both maneuver and possibly return home.
Oh yeah, and I also almost forgot about that whole ‘finding a way to get this miniwondersub dropped from the air to the water without it shattering like a lightbulb’ :eek: