Large Scale Vehicles
Although not developed as UUVs, the Navy has two scale-model unmanned vehicles used for testing concepts for new submarines. They are listed here for comparison purposes to AUVs.
LSV II Cutthroat, a quarter-scale version of the Virginia class (SSN774) attack submarine, will be the world's largest underwater autonomous submarine vehicle. At 111 feet long, the Cutthroat is half the size of a World War II submarine. Cutthroat is about 24 feet longer than LSV I to resemble the hull shape of the Virginia.
Cutthroat (LSV-2), is the largest unmanned operational submarine in the world. A 0.294-scale model of the pre-commissioning USS Virginia, it is 111 feet long, 10 feet in diameter, and will displace 205 long tons when delivered. Currently still under the custody of the shipbuilder, a joint team from Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat, Cutthroat will be delivered to the Navy and become operational in the summer of 2001. Construction will be completed at Bayview.
Cutthroat is similar to Kokanee, but more advanced. Enhancements include a larger overall scale – 29 percent, vice 25 percent for Kokanee – which will improve the fidelity of test data to full-scale results. Cutthroat is designed to be more modular than Kokanee, so that major modifications, including radical hull changes, can be made with less impact to other systems onboard the vessel.
Another advantage is an increase in ODAS capability. The Cutthroat ODAS will have twice as many data channels recorded as Kokanee at delivery – 512, vice 256 – and this is upgradable to 1,536 recorded channels. The Cutthroat ODAS converts the data from analog to digital form and processes the data digitally. In Cutthroat, data recording can be configured electronically under computer control, whereas Kokanee uses a patch panel. Cutthroat is equipped with a 3,000 horsepower permanent-magnet, radial-gap electric propulsion motor, provided to the Navy under a unique partnership agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat, the owner of the technology. This motor is easily upgradable to 6,000 horsepower. Other order-of-magnitude improvements were engineered
into the guidance, navigation, control, and propulsion systems, including the addition of torque sensors and other sensors of mechanical data for better reconstruction of the scenario.