U.S. Navy offers look into Snakehead long-endurance unmanned submarines for intelligence-gathering missions

Feb. 24, 2022
The unmanned subs have some degree of autonomy thanks to the Navy’s Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture (UMAA) and Common Control System (CCS).

CITY, state – The U.S. Navy has offered a glimpse at its new Snakehead Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) by publishing pictures taken during the christening of one of the vehicles. The Drive reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

24 Feb. 2022 -- The service wants these unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) -- which its dry deck shelter-equipped nuclear-powered submarines will be able to launch and recover underwater -- initially to be able to scout ahead or monitor certain areas, as well as perform other long-endurance intelligence-gathering missions.

The images of the Snakehead’s christening were published this week by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport and the Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC). The vehicle was christened at the Narragansett Bay Test Facility on 2 Feb.

Details about Snakehead and the contractors developing it remain scarce. What is known is that the drone is a long-endurance, multi-mission UUV that can be deployed from the dry deck shelter of some of the Navy's submarines and has been previously described by the service as “the largest UUV intended for hosting and deployment from submarines.” According to a contract awarded in 2019, Snakehead is powered by lithium-ion fault tolerant (LiFT) batteries.

Related: Unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) for long-endurance persistent surveillance use introduced by Kongsberg

Related: Boeing continues support for large unmanned submarines with modular payload bays for flexible missions

Related: Navy asks Boeing to find new missions, payloads, and capabilities for long-endurance extra-large UUV

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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