Lockheed plans web access for subs

Lockheed is teaming with subcontractors Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems and ERAPSCO to develop communications buoys that will allow subs to chat, transfer files and send e-mails while below the surface. Phone calls will also be possible, though Reints said that is not a central aim of the project.

Developers say two buoys will be tethered to each sub, allowing them to communicate through a fiber optic cable. The batteries for the tethered system will last up to 30 minutes; once power runs out, the buoy sinks itself.

The first buoys are scheduled to be delivered to the Navy by January for testing.