General Dynamics developed nuclear-powered USS North Dakota fast attack submarine has launched and recovered a REMUS 600 unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) while submerged.
The Diplomat reported Friday that the submarine has returned to the US after being deployed for about two-month to the Mediterranean Sea.
The REMUS 600 Autonomous drone, launched from the USS North Dakota, can perform a dual mission. “UUVs do their thing while we do other operations,” Commanding Officer Douglas Gordon said.
The REMUS 600 is made after the REMUS 100 UUV, built by the Norwegian-based Kongsberg Maritime defense contractor and designed through funding from the Office of Naval Research. It can be deployed for a wide range of missions including mine counter measure, harbor security, and search and salvage operations.
Piloting an underwater drone is technically tough because communicating with UUVs is difficult as the oceans are opaque to radio signals and acoustic signals travel a lot more slowly than the radio waves. Consequently, UUVs will have to operate almost completely autonomously.
“The US Navy is testing and developing a number of different underwater drones and has made available a ‘significant’ amount of money for the expansion of its UUV fleet in the Pentagon’s 2016 defense budget,” Gady added.