Sub launched Blackwing UAV can control a swarm of unmanned robotic subs and other UAVs

AeroVironment, a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, announced the United States Navy has successfully demonstrated the use of its submarine-launched BlackwingTM UAV 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.

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 SwitchbladeTM Lethal 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.

Navy subs of the future will be able to communicate with and “control … multiple unmanned vehicles over long distances.”

These same Blackwings serve another purpose: As aerial eyes in the sky, they can beam down “unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to submarine commanders.”

SOURCES –, AeroVironment, US Navy