U.S. Navy successfully launches drone from a submerged submarine

First it was missiles, and now the US Navy can add unmanned drones to the list of things that can be launched from a submerged submarine. The Navy today announced that it did just that in a recent demonstration that took some six years to develop. The drone, called an XFC UAS-eXperimental, was launched in a standard torpedo tube from the Navy’s USS Providence using a similar technique to how the Navy deploys Tomahawk cruise missiles.

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.

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