Lockheed Martin [LMT[ recently launched its Vector Hawk small unmanned aircraft from an unmanned submarine for the first time, the company said Sept. 28.
During the test, which occurred at a Navy-hosted exercise in Newport, R.I., in August, an Ocean Aero Submaran unmanned surface vessel sent instructions to Lockheed Martin’s 10-foot-long Marlin MK2 autonomous underwater vehicle. In response, the Marlin fired the four-pound, canister-launched Vector Hawk into the air from the surface of Narragansett Bay. The Vector Hawk then unfolded its wings and flew under its own power.
“This effort marks a milestone in showing that an unmanned aircraft, surface vessel and undersea vehicle can communicate and complete a mission cooperatively and completely autonomously,” said Kevin Schlosser, Lockheed Martin’s chief architect of unmanned systems technology.
To support situational awareness during the exercise, all three vehicles provided updates on their status to a ground control station.