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The new tech seems to be many more but thinner blades made out of composite material. It is so secret because if you know the surface area of the blades you can work out the availible horsepower, speeds, and likely frequencies emitted. So they are covered to hide then even from crew. Many people working inside subs dont know what props actually look like.

Propulsion tech was part of the accident because, i believe, these subs do not have rudders. They vector thrust like a jetski and therefore have issues when moving slowly.




I didn't even know that submarines no longer use classical propellers. I was surprised when I read it on Wikipedia and then again when I noticed that this is not unique to the Astate-class while trying to find images of hydrojet submarines. You can see this in the way I worded my comment, I guess it was pretty obvious to you.




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