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Sri Lankan subs?[edit]

The article mentions the January 2009 discovery of semi-submersibles being built by Tamil rebels. Were these actually intended to transport drugs? Their presence in this article suggests it, but the reference I saw gives the impression that they were the same design but intended to transport people instead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:54, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

The reference suggests they were used for military purposes (maybe to smuggle people? small arms?) past the Fed navy. The most interesting aspect that pushed me to include it in this article is that it seems it was the same origin/technology as the Colombian narco subs, but intended not for drug trafficking but as a military marine transport vehicle. I have not come through any other reference on that sub. If you do , please let me know. Thanks. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 06:14, 5 September 2009 (UTC)


I thought that overall this was a good article, but maybe some design points should be added. I doubt any of us will get our hands on schematics but maybe we could have a diagram for a typical Narco Submarine. Though the article did make it a point that the subs are Fiber Glass and steel and pointed out their stealthy capabilities, I was quite impressed with that. I'm just thinking we could maybe draw up a diagram on it for the more visual learners. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aryeonos (talkcontribs) 20:05, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Here's a simple and comprehensive diagram, also the page where this image is from is very informative: Covert Naval Blog: Narco submarines, torpedoes and semi-submersibles.

How do you prove that it actually was a narco sub?[edit]

This article is a little confusing. I assume there must be proof that it was a narco sub? Or does the law make it illegal to merely be aboard a low lying boat at sea? If so, how will it affect mini subs and other crafts used by researchers for exploration. Must they have a permit? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:20, 3 October 2009 (UTC).

Did you actually read the article?:
"...make it illegal to be aboard an unflagged semi-submersible, regardless of seizure of narcotics inside their scuttled vessel. The Drug Trafficking Vessel Interdiction Act of 2008 was enacted in September 2008. The bill makes it a "felony for those who knowingly or intentionally operate or embark in a self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) that is without nationality and that is or has navigated in international waters, with the intent to evade detection."[30] The bill does not impact researchers, explorers or others who may be operating a flagged semi-submersible. BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:07, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Interesting thought upon reading the article. They could just add a flag which is on a hinge, as soon as they think they are spotted they simply raise the flag and scuttle the boat. cba to sign in sorry -- (talk) 21:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

When a vessel is "flagged" it means that it is registered in a nation and flies that nation's flag. Simply flying a flag changes nothing unless there is documentation which shows what the flag state is. New Hampshirite (talk) 00:47, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

What this discussion makes clear is that talk of "unflagged" is lazy newspaper jargon that is confusing; we mean unregistered, not unflagged. Pol098 (talk) 09:11, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Actually, "flagged" is a maritime-legal term which is sometimes misunderstood by the those not involved in maritime law or commerce. New Hampshirite (talk) 03:19, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Lead shielding[edit]

While there's a reference, it doesn't make any sense to me that lead shielding reduces the sub's infrared signature - this depends upon the temperature of the structure. Lead would be shielding against nuclear radiation, which is not relevant (unless they're nuclear-powered!?). While there shouldn't be any risk of detecting radio emissions, copper would be better than lead if there were. Any views or references that explain or refute this? [Later: incorrect bit about magnetic field deleted - what was I thinking?] Pol098 (talk) 15:52, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it would make more sense it they reported asbestos or even ceramic as thermal shield. A quick Google search did not show any use of lead as thermal shield. I am tempted to delete that entry even if it is referenced.--BatteryIncluded (talk) 16:13, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Tamil Tigers are an NGO?[edit]

The article currently describes the LTTE as an NGO. Although they are technically an organisation which happens to be non-governmental, the term NGO usually implies something else... the references cited for this statement don't actually describe the Tigers as an NGO, but only as "terrorists". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:53, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

LTTE not exactly "first" non-state force to develop underwater weapons.[edit]

The artical states that "In late January, 2009, a Sri Lankan Army task force found three semi-subs being built by the LTTE Tamil rebels in the jungles of Mullaitivu, making them the first non-governmental organization to develop underwater weapons.[2][41]"

This statement apparently comes from someone in the Sri Lankan defense ministry, but does not seem to have been historically researched. The Fenian Ram, created for the Irish Republican Brotherhood and intended to be used against the British predates this greatly by over a century. The Turtle (submersible) can be argued to have fit the bill too, even earlier than that, as the American patriots/revolutionaries were not controlled by a recognized or complete government at that time.

Earlier examples may exist also... Any idea on how to fix this?--Luftschiffritter5 1 (talk) 21:43, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


This article is a giant mess with short tons, long tons and real tons. I'll be changing all of them to metric units - mega grams - as appropriate, and encourage someone to include "tons" if desired under quotation marks. The entire narco issue is in metric countries, and even the US is using metric in all their dealings. The entire article is unnecessarily complicated with three different versions of units in every number. Please discuss here - I'm willing to accept that non-standard measurements ((i.e. non-metric) in brackets might help those in the two countries (USA and Liberia) that don't use it, but the article is unnneccesarily unreadable just to cater to those two.Cpt ricard (talk) 21:13, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

yes. All metric please! --BatteryIncluded (talk)
The Guardian source for the largest seizure seems confused; they say both "more than eight tonnes" and "7,650kg" (which is obviously less than 8 t). I suspect that since this was a US Navy seizure the original amount was "over 8 tons" (which would be about 7.3 t) and some clueless editor at the Guardian "corrected" the spelling to "tonnes." Kendall-K1 (talk) 19:38, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

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