US Navy launches UAV from submerged submarine

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare' started by SajeevJino, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    US Navy launches UAV from submerged submarine


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    The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) with funding from SwampWorks at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Department of Defense Rapid Reaction Technology Office (DoD/RRTO) demonstrated the launch of an all-electric, fuel cell-powered, unmanned aerial system (UAS) from a submerged submarine. From concept to fleet demonstration, this idea took less than six years to produce results at significant cost savings when compared to traditional programs often taking decades to produce results

    The successful submerged launch of a remotely deployed UAS offers a pathway to providing mission critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the U.S. Navy's submarine force.

    Operating under support of the Los Angeles class submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Newport Division (NUWC-NPT), the NRL developed XFC UAS - eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System - was fired from the submarine's torpedo tube using a 'Sea Robin' launch vehicle system. The Sea Robin launch system was designed to fit within an empty Tomahawk launch canister (TLC) used for launching Tomahawk cruise missiles already familiar to submarine sailors.

    Once deployed from the TLC, the Sea Robin launch vehicle with integrated XFC rose to the ocean surface where it appeared as a spar buoy. Upon command of Providence Commanding Officer, the XFC then vertically launched from Sea Robin and flew a successful several hour mission demonstrating live video capabilities streamed back to Providence, surface support vessels and Norfolk before landing at the Naval Sea Systems Command Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), Andros, Bahamas.

    "This six-year effort represents the best in collaboration of a Navy laboratory and industry to produce a technology that meets the needs of the special operations community," said Dr. Warren Schultz, program developer and manager, NRL. "The creativity and resourcefulness brought to this project by a unique team of scientists and engineers represents an unprecedented paradigm shift in UAV propulsion and launch systems."

    The NRL Chemistry and Tactical Electronic Warfare Divisions team includes the design-builder of the Sea Robin, Oceaneering International Inc., Hanover, Md.; the fuel cell developer Protonex Technology Corp., Southborough, Mass.; and NUWC-NPT's Autonomous and Defensive Systems Department for Temporary Alteration (TEMPALT) and test demonstration support.

    The XFC is a fully autonomous, all electric fuel cell powered folding wing UAS with an endurance of greater than six hours. The non-hybridized power plant supports the propulsion system and payload for a flight endurance that enables relatively low cost, low altitude, ISR missions. The XFC UAS uses an electrically assisted take off system which lifts the plane vertically out of its container and therefore, enables a very small footprint launch such as from a pickup truck or small surface vessel.

    Navy launches UAV from submerged submarine
     
    jmj_overlord, Neil, happy and 7 others like this.
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  3. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wow !! What an idea sirji !!

    Any hope that this kind of system appears on Indian naval vessels in the future??

    Maybe, this UAV can be launched from the sub and landed on an aircraft carrier with remote controls at both ends ??
     
  4. ninja85

    ninja85 Regular Member

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    that's right looks like the surface ships usually takes the command of the this uav as subs have to go deeper or silent to avoid detection or threat ,

    subs won't be taking unnecessary risks over a small uav.
     

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