US Navy demonstrates AeroVironment's submarine-launched Blackwing™ small UAV that links manned submarines to unmanned undersea vehicles. (Photo: Business Wire)
September 07, 2016 NEWPORT, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Division – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, today announced the United States Navy has successfully demonstrated the use of its submarine-launched BlackwingTM UAV to link with a swarm of unmanned undersea vehicles and communicate with the submarine combat control system during the Annual Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) on August 16.
End-to-end system testing completed by Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Rhode Island validates first UUV-to-submarine link via UAV data relay Blackwing’s tight integration into the US Navy’s submarine fleet using an open-architecture communication system will enable communication and control of multiple unmanned vehicles over long distances.
Along with providing a new and unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to submarine commanders, the Blackwing UAV can also provide high-speed data and communication relay for Command and Control (C2) between geographically separated vessels such as manned submarines, unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and surface ships. Deployed UUVs collect large quantities of data while conducting diverse missions ranging from mine-hunting to wide-area oceanographic sensing. During the ANTX exercise, an AeroVironment developed, government-owned, secure digital datalink called DDLTM, integrated into all Blackwing UAVs, relayed real-time information from the surrogate manned submarine via the Blackwing UAV to and from multiple UUVs.
Blackwing builds on AeroVironment’s extensive development and operational experience with its SwitchbladeTM Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) and its common DDL to provide the Navy with a deployable submarine launched unmanned aircraft vehicle optimized for distributed Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments.
“Our Naval Undersea Warfare Center partners seek solutions for quickly and seamlessly linking the air and undersea domains to enhance warfighter capability. We successfully demonstrated the innovative utility of AeroVironment’s new Blackwing unmanned air vehicle,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Blackwing delivers significant value to the undersea community, and we look forward to working closely with our partners to expand this powerful new capability to enable underwater vehicles and cross-domain interoperability. In addition to our Navy partners, we also thank our industry partner Sparton for their continued support on Blackwing efforts.”