SUBMARINES HAVE NEVER been an important part of the Royal Canadian Navy, but Canadian sailors may soon man the fastest sub chaser in the world. By next spring, defense authorities will be testing a prototype of the two-hundred-ton FHE-400 (Fast Hydrofoil Escort). It’s the latest version of that absurd-looking craft that rises onto stilts called hydrofoils. The FHE400, riding with her hull about twelve feet above water, will manage a top speed of sixty knots — twenty knots faster than the fastest U.S. nuclear
sub. Her weapons will include VDS (Variable Depth Sonar) for detecting submarines at depths as great as a thousand feet, and homing torpedoes capable of deep kills. If the FHE-400 is a success, it will become Canada’s entry in a three-nation swap through which we’ll acquire larger, U. S.made hydrofoil troop carriers and British-made hovercraft — those amphibious vehicles that ride on a cushion of air.
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