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US Navy demonstrates new launch and recovery solutions for large UUVs

The US Navy has demonstrated a new launch and recovery concept for large unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs). This follows a collaborative R&D effort by a U.S. Navy team from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Newport, and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Virginia.

The demonstration, conducted at Division Newport’s Narragansett Bay Test Facility, showed both a land-based launch and recovery approach and a new solution for launching large UUVs from U.S. Navy amphibious ships. The demonstration included the Snakehead large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV) prototype, and the Pharos large launch and recovery vehicle (LLRV) designed by HII.

Snakehead, a modular, reconfigurable, multi-mission LDUUV provides support of intelligence preparation of the operational environment missions.

“We are very proud to have worked with talented Navy warfare centers (Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division in Florida and Division Newport) to advance Pharos capabilities,” said Jim LaCroix, director for advanced technology at HII. “The Navy and industry team did a great job addressing the challenges and completing a successful demonstration.”

“It’s encouraging to see new opportunities that facilitate use of the vehicle in the field,” said Allison Phillips, Division Newport’s test and evaluation lead for the Snakehead LDUUV.

Cheryl Mierzwa, Snakehead LDUUV technical project manager, said, “This successful demonstration emphasizes that collaboration with the government and industry is key to build and test innovative solutions to increase the operational value that Large UUVs bring to the fleet.”


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