The US Navy has signed a contract with AeroVironment Inc. for the purchase of drones-launched reconnaissance submarines. The Blackwing has been successfully tested and the US Navy decided to buy 150 in a request for funding included in the financial instrument in 2017.
The Blackwing project is still partly classified, as well as the actual costs incurred.
50 cm long and weighing four pounds, the Blackwing can safely be stored inside a tube launched torpedoes standards. Once the surface is reached, the drone spreads its wings. Its electric motor gives an autonomy of 60 minutes.
"The electro-optical and infrared drone miniaturized, as well as its anti-spoofing GPS sensors are designed to be the eyes and ears of the fleet, improving the ability of the Navy to counter the progress made by the opposing powers like China" .
Since 2006, AeroVironment has made tremendous progress in its underwater launch of UAV technology.
Last year, the US Navy, in a memo to the Pentagon, has "strongly recommended the operational phase in the system in the fleet."
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