The Navy plans to deploy the early models of its Razorback medium-sized unmanned underwater “as soon as we can” even as the service is in the midst of procuring an upgraded model.
The first version of the Razorback UUV was meant to be deployed and recovered from a submarine’s dry deck shelter, carrying with it environment-sensing payloads that could help submarines have eyes in more places underwater.
Those UUVs are delivering now, even as the Navy has already put out a request for proposals for the next iteration of the UUV that would be launched and recovered from a torpedo tube – meaning divers wouldn’t have to go out into the water to help get the unmanned craft started on a mission or bring it back into the sub afterwards.
Capt. Pete Small, unmanned maritime systems program manager (PMS 406) within the Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants, said last week at a virtual conference hosted by the American Society of Naval Engineers that the Navy would take delivery of nine dry deck shelter versions of the vehicle – two of which are already being used for testing at the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Squadron (UUVRON) and seven of which are still pending delivery.
The vehicles at the UUVRON are “really more training assets and initial vehicles, but we will take seven more and we do intend to deploy those on missions as soon as we can. And there’s a number of things in the fire working to make that happen,” Small said in response to a question from USNI News during a panel presentation.
“So that is the intent to do that, and we do intend to, again, further develop that capability to get the divers out of the loop with later vehicles.”
For the rest of the article, see the following: