AeroVironment
Artificial Intelligence

US Navy to Deploy Submarine-Launched Drones

Meet the tube-launched Blackwings.

Jelor GallegoMay 23rd 2016

The US Navy is deploying a new weapon in drone warfare: Submarine-launched drones. Dubbed “Blackwings,” these small reconnaissance drones can be tube-launched from submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles.

Developed by California-based AeroVironment Inc., the drones are about 20 inches long and weigh about four pounds. They fold up into a three-inch wide canister that can be tube-launched from the submarine. Once the canister clears the surface, the Blackwing pops out and its wings unfold.

Each unit has a motor that can last up to 60 minutes, and is fitted with  miniaturized electro-optical and infrared sensors, as well as its anti-spoofing GPS and a secure digital data link.

The Blackwing was developed to counter Chinese advancements in anti-ship ballistic missile and similar “anti-access, area denial (A2AD)” technologies. The Navy has given no deployment date, but given China’s aggressive posturing, it may come just in the nick of time.

Keep up. Subscribe to our daily newsletter.

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy
Next Article
////////////