October 29, 2008 Raytheon and the US Navy have demonstrated unmanned aircraft system capability for submarines. The Submarine Over the Horizon Organic Capabilities (SOTHOC) program is developing a specialized UAS designed for collection of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in a complex littoral environment.
During the demonstration, two sea vehicles descended to 80 feet, resurfaced, and launched an inert representative UAS at precise orientation and velocity during a demonstration.
"SOTHOC provides submerged submarines with the ability to use unmanned aircraft systems and will increase commanders' situational awareness and provide clarity to a fogged battlespace picture," said Ken Pedersen, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Advanced Programs. "In future demonstrations, we will deploy a UAS from an actual submerged submarine and evaluate its performance in the maritime interdiction mission."
"The SOTHOC program is a government-industry partnership that complements organizational strengths to develop, integrate and test a capability that will provide a significant increase in warfighter performance," said Mark A. Rodrigues, department head, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, Platform Payload Integration Department. "This capability will be a keystone for real-time situational awareness at significantly increased ranges."