Submarine launched Switchblade for RIMPAC 2012

Raytheon has been given the contract to ready the AV Switchblade airframe to be launched from submarine waste disposal units. Now I bet that was not part of the first design brief! Chuck it out let it float up and then launch.

How will it communicate with the sub if its at any depth though and how quickly will any aircraft looking for submarines be able to pick up its signature?

By there very nature sUAS are difficult to make radio silent. Lots of energy being dispersed quickly through simple systems.

Nature and/or Description of the Action Being Approved:
This is a new order under the basic lDlQ ATSP3 contract, H94003-04-D-0004 (Raytheon Company) to procure, build, test and deliver Submarine Over-The-Horizon Organic Capabilities (SOTHOC) by providing upgraded Switchblade Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) vehicles and submerged launch vehicle (SLV) for use at the RIMPAC naval exercise 2012. A cost plus fixed fee engineering services order is anticipated with FY12 4930 funds (3 year Naval Other Procurement). The estimated program cost is $779,400. (NOTE: Cannot proceed with signatures until DMEA receives all funding or an LOI)

The purpose of the basic ATSP3 contract is to develop solutions for the reliability, maintainability, obsolescence, availability, supportability, manufacturability, capability, and performance needs or deficiencies of items that range in complexity from discrete electronics through integrated circuits, circuit boards, modules, assemblies, subsystems, systems, and systems of systems. ATSP3 engineering approaches include advanced technology engineering and advanced hardware and software engineering.

III. Description of the Supplies/Services or Nature of Construction:
Submarine Over-The-Horizon Organic Capabilities (SOTHOC) for RIMPAC 2012; Contractual Engineering Task (CET) 12-219. This task order is closely inter-related with the work being performed under CETs 07-784, 08-871, and 10-021 by Raytheon. This task order will procure and build a set of SOTHOC capability by providing upgraded Switchblade Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) vehicles and submerged launch vehicles (SLV) for use at the multi-national maritime exercise RIMPAC 2012.