Below is a brief except from a recent article published in Defense Systems that takes a closer look at our new Bluefin SandShark autonomous underwater vehicle -- to read the full story, visit defensesystems.com.
Bluefin's SandShark a New Breed of Small, Versatile Underwater Drones
By: Mark Pomerleau, June 6, 2016
[O]ne example is the SandShark, an autonomous UUV weighing less than 15 pounds that was developed by General Dynamics subsidiary Bluefin Robotics. The notion of low-cost and expendable UUV platforms not only opens several capability doors for both conventional and Special Operations Forces, but it fits neatly within the military's Third Offset Strategy.
A tactical vehicle such as Sandshark fits in with a Navy/Special Ops trend, where its less about programs and more about taking products and capabilities and integrating them in unique ways, Tracy Howard, senior manager at General Dynamics Mission Systems, told Defense Systems.
SandShark “could be used for any one of the sort of normal undersea mission sets that you might find in the U.S. Navy,” as well as with several additional missions, Rand LeBouvier of Bluefin business development Autonomous Undersea Vehicles, told Defense Systems. These could include intelligence missions, small-scale survey missions recovering data, communications relays, conducting training, or functioning as a decoy. LeBouvoir said these tactical systems can also perform swarming missions, a concept that the Office of Naval Research has demonstrated both on the surface of the water and in the air. “Having large numbers of various types of vehicles that form de facto arrays that can detect targets or can be used as survey vehicles to cover large areas,” he said of swarming.
According to a blog post by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), a non-profit focused on promoting the use of unmanned systems, Naval Special Warfare teams could use the SandShark platform -- or any tactical UUV for that matter -- to covertly conduct strike missions as well as ISR sorties ...To read the full story, visit defensesystems.com.