Ghost ship unveiled: Stealth vessel is ‘virtually unstoppable’

Posted: 08/27/2011 in all marine news

Elizabeth Dinan –

After years of research under top-secret conditions, Greg Sancoff has unveiled a “game changing” invention he describes as “like an attack helicopter on water.”

Named Ghost, it’s the world’s first “supercavitating” water craft, meaning it travels across water like a boat, but through a tunnel of gas below the surface, he said. The significance of the technology means Ghost moves through the gas instead of water which has 900 times more drag, he said.

“We’re creating an artificial environment around our underwater structure,” said Sancoff, who is developing Ghost with his own money, while the project is “controlled by the government.”

“We’re reducing hull friction, which hasn’t changed much since the Vikings,” he said. “This, in many ways, is probably one of the largest advancements made in the Navy. It’s like breaking the sound barrier.”

Ghost is also stealth, is powered by jet fuel, can carry thousands of pounds of weapons including torpedoes and is “virtually unstoppable,” Sancoff said. He added the cockpit of the prototype is like one found inside a plane and the rear can seat multiple Navy SEALS.

According to a statement by retired Navy Admiral Thomas Richards, who serves on Sancoff’s board of directors, Ghost can travel at speeds “in excess of a mile a minute.”

The technology can be applied to surface or submersible watercraft which can be manned or unmanned, Sancoff said.

“You can leave Portsmouth and come up off the coast of Africa,” he said.

“Secrecy orders,” which barred images of Ghost being released to the public were lifted by the Navy on Aug. 10, coinciding with the launch of a prototype in waters off the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

“It’ll be seen,” explained Sancoff, who said he’s discussed the project with officials from the Navy, Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency and the defense industry.

“The government is very interested,” Sancoff said, while declining to discuss specifics.

Ghost is being tested from a previously vacant building at the shipyard that Sancoff is leasing. Headquarters for the company he built around Ghost, Juliet Marine Services, are in a circa 1725 ship captain’s home on Deer Street in Portsmouth. The doors are always locked, he said, and exterior surveillance cameras are visible to visitors.

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