After years of detecting these craft in the less trafficked Pacific Ocean, officials have seen a spike in their use in the Caribbean over the last year. American authorities have discovered at least three models of a new and sophisticated drug-trafficking submarine capable of traveling completely underwater from South America to the coast of the United States.
The vessel involved in the September chase was an older model that was only semi-submersible. That model presents a silhouette above water barely larger than a kitchen table, but requires a snorkel to bring in air for the diesel engine, which has a range of about 3,000 miles. The three newer, fully submersible vessels already captured were capable of hauling 10 tons of cocaine and, by surfacing at night to charge their batteries off the onboard diesel engine, could sail beneath the surface all the way from Ecuador to Los Angeles.From Schmidt and Shanker in the NYT.
What the next innovation will be?