Underwater sub’s trash tube can also launch UAVs

Raytheon announced today that they will demonstrate launching a UAV from an underwater submarine. When I called the company to ask, “How?”, they sent me this very helpful graphic.

The full explanation is on the jump, but basically the UAV goes out the trash tube in a canister, floats to the surface and launches.


The two big questions that instantly pop to my mind are 1) Where did that UAV come from? and 2) How do they intend to recover it?

Raytheon’s caption for the submarine-launched UAV graphic:

(fig. 1) A significant mass is added to the SOTHOC submarinelaunch vehicle to allow safe separation from the submarine when it is ejectedfrom the TDU (Trash Disposal Unit); (fig. 2) the center of buoyancy and centerof gravity of the SLV are offset along the longitudinal axis; after the SLVseparates from the submarine, it revolves around the center of buoyancy andbegins to shed the deployment weights; the SLV then travels unconstrained tothe programmed maximum depth before returning to the surface;  (fig. 3) a float collar adds buoyancy tobring unit to surface; (fig. 4) a wind vane deploys; (fig. 5) the water drogueassures stabilization at the surface; (fig. 6) wind vane helps adjust tubedirection as required, the launch tube pivots to a 35-degree angle for UASlaunching.


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5 Responses to Underwater sub’s trash tube can also launch UAVs

  1. hallbach 24 October, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    How about the concept of the germans for starting a UAV from a hoistable mast:

  2. scott 24 October, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    Isn’t a sub by definition “underwater”?

  3. fightingirish 25 October, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Quote: “2) How do they intend to recover it?”
    After a sucessfull mission the UAV will be destroyed through a controlled crash or through self-destruction.
    Maybe in less situations it could be recovered by ground forces or by SEAL’s.

    A similar system is likely to be mounted on the 2nd batch of Type 212 submarines for the German Navy.
    The mini UAV “EMT Aladin” will be launched by the a retractable mast “Triple M”.

    Slán, fightingirish

  4. Royce 27 October, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    Isn’t this the kind of thing that’s like putting up a big flag of where your sub is? Or is the UAV a stealth UAV?

  5. eg 27 October, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    Well, I kinda have to wonder what it would be like moving something like that cannister around in a submarine.
    Storage is always a problem and then moving something that big around the passage ways would probably make for interesting times.

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