April 6, 2006 We’ve all held our breath in the movies as the submarine with the good guys in it slides between the mines, touching a chain here and there to heighten the drama. In the future, that scenario will need to be rewritten as it’s likely that an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) will be fired from the torpedo tubes well in advance of a minefield and scope out exactly where the mines are. Make that the not-too-distant future because Boeing is already into a second round of at-sea tests of its Long-term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS). The LMRS is a 20-foot UUV designed to be launched, torpedo-style, from Los Angeles- and Virginia-class submarines and can survey the murky waters ahead for up to 60 hours. Originally planned for use in detecting tethered and bottom mines, the vehicle is designed to gather data and, upon completion, to home and dock to the submarine's 60-foot robotic arm for recovery back through the torpedo launch tube, enabling operators to retrieve data collected and prepare the vehicle for another launch. The vehicle's intelligence gathering capabilities have been sequentially tested and validated.
Read the full article: Unmanned Underwater Vehicle to operate from the torpedo tubes of U.S. Navy Submarines