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US Navy Launches Aircraft from Submerged Submarine

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 4 months ago

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Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "MarineLink reports that a fuel cell-powered, unmanned aerial system (UAS) aircraft has been successfully launched from the submerged 'USS Providence' (SSN 719) and flew a several hour mission demonstrating live video capabilities streamed back to the submarine offering a pathway to providing mission critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the US Navy's submarine force. "Developing disruptive technologies and quickly getting them into the hands of our sailors is what our SwampWorks program is all about," says Craig A. Hughes, Acting Director of Innovation at the Office of Naval Research. "This demonstration really underpins ONR's dedication and ability to address emerging fleet priorities." The XFC UAS — eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System — was fired from the submarine's torpedo tube using a 'Sea Robin' launch vehicle system 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."

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