- AeroVironment’s Blackwing Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) links manned submarines to unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) while providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
- End-to-end system testing completed by Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Rhode Island validates first UUV-to-submarine link via UAV data relay
- Blackwing’s tight integration into the US Navy’s submarine fleet using an open-architecture communication system will enable communication and control of multiple unmanned vehicles over long distances
RHODE ISLAND, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Division, Sept. 7, 2016 – AeroVironment, Inc.(NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, today announced the United States Navy has successfully demonstrated the use of its submarine-launched BlackwingTMUAV to link with a swarm of unmanned undersea vehicles and communicate with the submarine combat control system during the Annual Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) on August 16.
Along with providing a new and unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to submarine commanders, the Blackwing UAV can also provide high-speed data and communication relay for Command and Control (C2) between geographically separated vessels such as manned submarines, unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and surface ships. Deployed UUVs collect large quantities of data while conducting diverse missions ranging from mine-hunting to wide-area oceanographic sensing. During the ANTX exercise, an AeroVironment developed, government-owned, secure digital datalink called DDLTM, integrated into all Blackwing UAVs, relayed real-time information from the surrogate manned submarine via the Blackwing UAV to and from multiple UUVs.
Blackwing builds on AeroVironment’s extensive development and operational experience with its SwitchbladeTMLethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) and its common DDL to provide the Navy with a deployable submarine launched unmanned aircraft vehicle optimized for distributed Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments.
“Our Naval Undersea Warfare Center partners seek solutions for quickly and seamlessly linking the air and undersea domains to enhance warfighter capability. We successfully demonstrated the innovative utility of AeroVironment’s new Blackwing unmanned air vehicle,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Blackwing delivers significant value to the undersea community, and we look forward to working closely with our partners to expand this powerful new capability to enable underwater vehicles and cross-domain interoperability. In addition to our Navy partners, we also thank our industry partner Sparton for their continued support on Blackwing efforts.”
About AeroVironment Small UAS
RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-12 Wasp®, RQ-20A and B Puma™ and Shrike VTOL™ comprise AeroVironment’s Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Operating with a common ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides increased capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission to be performed. This increased capability has the potential to provide significant force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units and security personnel. AeroVironment provides logistics services worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness and provides mission services for customers requiring only the information its small UAS produce. AeroVironment has delivered tens of thousands of new and replacement small unmanned air vehicles to customers within the United States and to more than 30 international governments.