Navy to Launch A Drone From A Submarine


I the start of a new trend in drone warfare, the Navy is going to launch a version of the Army's Switchblade kamikaze UAV from a submarine during its annual RIMPAC exercise next year.

Basically, a Switchblade will be fired out of a sub's, wait for it, trash disposal chute at periscope depth whiile encased in a Raytheon-made canister called the Submarine Launch Vehicle (SLV). The SLV gets the little UAV to the ocean's surface where the drone fires itself into the air and voila.

Per Aviation Week:

The SLV and electric-powered UAV are stored on board as an all-up round. Ejected from the submerged submarine's trash disposal unit, the SLV is weighted to descend to a safe distance from the boat, then shed the weight and inflate a float collar.

The collar is pulsed to control the rate of ascent. As it approaches the surface, the SLV deploys a water drogue to provide stabilization and a vane to align it into the wind. The tube then pivots to a 35-degree angle and ejects the folding-wing UAV.

Remember, the Army recently bought $4.9 million worth of the tiny drones that can be carried in a container -- that doubles as it's launch tube -- on a soldiers backpack . When he needs it, a soldier can launch the Switchblade and use it to spy on a target before directing the UAV to swoop in and explode on said target.

I'm curious to know how the Navy controls the tiny UAVs without signals from its subs being detected

Show Full Article