General Dynamics Mission Systems and General Dynamics Electric Boat demonstrated multiple mission command, control and communication capabilities connecting Bluefin Robotics´ unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) and a third-party provided unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a simulated AN/BYG-1 submarine combat control center ashore, the company said.
A Stackable Air-powered Launch System (STAPLS) designed for use aboard submarines was also used. The goal of the General Dynamics demonstrations was to provide available solutions to the communications challenges of operating in a contested, undersea environment. Each demonstration took place at the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, as part of the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2017.
The General Dynamics team demonstrated capabilities for real-time, two-way communications from the AN/BYG-1 control center to change the mission Bluefin SandSharkâ¢ UUV, via a third-party UAV while the Bluefin SandShark was operating in the water. In another demonstration, the Bluefin SandShark communicated with a simulated undersea communications network comprised of an acoustic communication node connected to a fiber optic cable that relayed information from the Bluefin SandShark back to the AN/BYG-1 via a surface buoy.
The General Dynamics team also launched both a Bluefin SandShark UUV and a Hammerhead canister containing the third-party AUV from two platforms, a Bluefin-21 medium-weight UUV and then from a STAPLS launcher designed by General Dynamics Electric Boat.
General Dynamics Electric Boat´s Applied Physical Sciences organization developed the prototype STAPLS launcher as a powerful, cost-effective solution to launch tactical assets like the Bluefin SandSharkâ¢ and third-party UAV from a submarine. This simple, scalable launcher, developed with Electric Boat´s internal funds, can increase submarine payload options without displacing existing payloads. Adaptable to a wide range of payloads, insertion on fielded and new construction submarines is envisioned.
General Dynamics Mission Systems and General Dynamics Electric Boat are business units of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). For more information about General Dynamics Mission Systems visit www.gdmissionsystems.com. Additional information about General Dynamics Electric Boat is available at www.gdeb.com.