Feeds

US Navy plans self-building floating fortresses

Swimming, stacking ISO containers: Just add SEALs

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

But DARPA wants to do more. It is also interested in building floating bases out of ISO boxes offshore:

Modular Sea Base is a concept for large, at-sea logistics structures formed from standard 20-foot ISO container-sized modules. Each module, deployed from a commercial containership, would have self-contained propulsion, a means of connecting to other modules, and low-level autonomy algorithms allowing the modules to self-form structures in the water.

Ten modules could theoretically be arranged in a 40-foot by 40-foot pad with 170 tons of collective buoyant capacity, enough to serve as an ad hoc helicopter landing pad. Since even smaller containerships would be capable of carrying thousands of modules, if individual modules could be produced at a cost low enough to justify procurement, larger numbers of modules could form more interesting structures such as large scale joint force deployment bases.

The self-assembling modular seabases could also, as DARPA notes, provide docking-bay facilities for useful inshore craft such as the Mark V Special Operations Craft gunboats and other vessels favoured by the US Navy SEALs, or the various hover and landing craft employed by the US Marines.

Concept for floating offshore base assembled from semi-submersible oilrig style independent units.

The old-school version.

More ambitious concepts in the past have envisioned locking together a line of oil rig-sized specialist units which could cruise to the target area on pontoon hulls, then part-flood and submerge these so that only the support pillars were battered by waves. This would allow a row of units to be mated together and form a mighty floating fortress that could even include a runway for jets.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Bootnote

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.