HII demonstrates launch and recovery of LDUUV

By Audrey Decker / June 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM

(Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect that the Navy demonstrated a capability that could be used to launch an unmanned underwater vehicle from an amphibious ship's well deck.)

HII, shipbuilder and defense technology company, recently demonstrated a capability that could be used from an amphibious ship to launch, operate and recover a large-diameter unmanned underwater vehicle.

The company's amphibious ships have well decks that can launch and recover various maritime platforms, HII said in today's announcement.

The launch and recovery demonstration featured prototype platform Pharos and HII’s LDUUV Proteus in the Pascagoula River in Mississippi, according to the press release.

"The demonstration involved having the LDUUV approach and be captured by the Pharos cradle, while Pharos was being towed behind a small craft that simulated an amphibious ship at low speed. Pharos was put in a tow position, then using a remote control, it was ballasted down in the trailing position allowing the LDUUV to navigate into Pharos," HII said.

"Once the unmanned vehicle was captured, Pharos was deballasted back up into a recovery and transport position. The demonstration also included ballasting down to launch the LDUUV after the capture," HII said.

Pharos was designed by HII and Metal Shark in Louisiana constructed the prototype device. The University of New Orleans, in conjunction with the Navy, performed the initial model testing, according to HII.

"HII is currently exploring modifications for other UUVs and participating in live demonstrations with the fleet within the next year. HII will use results from the Pharos demonstration to further mature concepts and continue to develop innovative national security solutions," HII said.

In April, the company released a suite of autonomy solutions -- named “Odyssey” -- that can turn any platform in any domain into a robotic platform.