U.S. Navy to Deploy Underwater Drones from Submarines

April 15, 2015  - By

The Remus 600 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle, made by Kongsberg Maritime, a Norwegian company.

The U.S. Navy plans to deploy its first underwater drones from submarines later this year, according to a report by Military.com.

The website quoted Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, the Navy’s director of undersea warfare, who said the deployment will include the use of the Remus 600 Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) to perform undersea missions around the globe.

Sailors carry a Remote Environmental Measuring Unit (REMUS) 100. (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Sailors carry a Remote Environmental Measuring Unit (REMUS) 100. (Credit: U.S. Navy)

“Now you are talking about a submarine CO who can essentially be in two places at the same time — with a UUV out deployed which can do dull, dirty and dangerous type missions. This allows the submarine to be doing something else at the same time,” Tofalo said. “UUVs can help us better meet our combatant command demand signal. Right now, we only meet about two-thirds of our combatant commanders’ demand signals, and having unmanned systems is a huge force multiplier.”

The Remus 600 is a 500-pound, 3.25-meter-long UUV equipped with GPS, as well as dual-frequency side-scanning sonar technology, synthetic aperture sonar, acoustic imaging, and video cameras manufactured by Hyrdoid, a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime. The Remus 600 is similar to Bluefin Robotics UUVs, which were used to search for wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Other applications include hydrographic surveys, harbor security, and environmental monitoring.

In this video, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One (EODMU-1) tests the Remus 600 to locate mines using autonomous guidance and advanced sonar.