French Deploy flying Drone from Sub

From Naval News:

On May 4, 2023, the final test of the French “UAV on submarine” experimentation was held off Toulon. The objective of this project is to deploy a drone from a submerged submarine in order to recover video data and to pilot it from the submarine.

During the tests, the drone system developed by Naval Group and the SME Diodon was sent from a submerged SSN (Rubis-class nulcear-powered submarine). The UAV came to the surface in a waterproof protective cocoon designed by Naval Group (attached photo shows the cocoon at the three o’clock position). On the surface, this cocoon opened, and the drone positioned itself above sea level. The SSN then raised its communication antenna to establish the data link. Once communication was established, the drone was piloted from the submarine, providing video feedback from the drone’s camera on the operator’s console.

According to the French ministry of defense, this project aims to increase the vision of the submarine in its environment. Using a drone will allow the submarine to extend the perimeter and horizon of its sensors and capabilities. (Intelligence missions, surveillance, reconnaissance, visible or infrared ISR, radio relay, sending small packages to special forces in the field, etc.) It is also a question of providing a new medium-term disruptive operational capability that can be integrated into the current fleet.

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