U.S. Navy Testing Underwater Drones

(RoyalPatriot.com )- The U.S. Navy is testing underwater drones for its submarines, according to a report from defense and national security website 19FortyFive. The UUVs, or Razorback underwater vehicles, can reportedly be launched from the submarines, but issues continue to persist as the sub is unable to retrieve the craft after swimming its mission.

Nine Razorbacks are currently undergoing testing. They will initially be tasked with disabling underwater mines and explosive disposal, before going on longer expeditions throughout the sea. It is unclear whether they will have offensive capabilities targeting enemy ships.

The Razorbacks are also being designed to be a “drone mothership,” aiding friendly submarines to detect incoming torpedoes and enemy ships. The drones will serve as additional “eyes and ears” for submarines swimming in uncharted waters, alerting seamen of underwater seamounts that could cause potential damage.

The Navy faces the challenge to recover the drones back onto the sub, Submarine Force commander Vice Admiral Bill Houston said at the Naval Submarine League’s annual conference. The Razorback reportedly weighs 600-pounds and takes a team of divers to get it back into the sub.

But the system is to be deployed “in the very near future,” said Rear Admiral Doug Perry, the head of undersea warfare for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, who added that he believes the Navy will solve the issue without putting the program at risk.

The underwater robot called the Remus 600 is the prototype for the Razorback UUV. The conversion from the robot to the UUV is reportedly undertaken by Leidos and L3 Harris in a $358 million contract.

As the United States tests its new toy, Russia and China are developing their own underwater drones and submarines.

Russia is still developing its nuclear-tipped Poseidon underwater drone that can be launched from thousands of miles away and inflict damage to coastal cities. China, on the other hand, has shown off its robotic submarine in military parades. The unmanned sub is reportedly larger than the Razorback.