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.