Joy in subville: the U.S. Navy has found its mine-sweeping, torpedo-shaped drone.When the mini-submarine was lost off of the coast of Norway nearly two weeks ago, the local government sent out a frantic, nationwide call, asking their good citizens to be on the lookout for the 3.5 meter-long, yellow-orangish 'bot. The American minehunter Swift joined in the search, too, leaving a military exercises to go hunt for the Battlespace Preparation Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.Today, the drone was found -- nearly 200 miles from where it disappeared, the AP reports.
A man going for walk along the coast near Stavanger, on Norway's west coast, spotted a small, torpedo-like object marked "Department of Navy" grounded just off the beach and called the police."A police officer went to the scene, found the submarine and pulled it into land," Arvid Jensen, of the Stavanger police, told Norwegian news agency NTB...A Norwegian Navy boat was immediately dispatched to the scene to recover the submarine so it could be returned to the Americans.THERE'S MORE: The Navy is blaming the fresh water of Norway's fjords for the drone disappearance, according to Inside Defense.
The weather forced some of the [drone's] experimentation to take place inside a fjord off the coast of Christiansand, a small city on the south coast of Norway. Unbeknownst to Navy officials at the time, the fjord had significant amounts of fresh water, a grave problem for the UUV which is ballasted for saltier water. [The Office of Naval Research's Tim] Schnoor said the vehicle sank through the freshwater layer about 100 feet down before becoming neutrally buoyant between the fresh and salt water layer."There was certainly nothing technically wrong with the vehicle, he said in an interview earlier today. "It was just improperly prepared for the water mass in which it was launched."Schnoor said he has been informed the recovered vehicle is still in "good shape" and will be returned shortly.