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Navy Demonstrates Snakehead LDUUV Prototype for Autonomous Missions

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Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport has demonstrated the ability of the U.S. Navy’s Snakehead large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle prototype to support an end-to-end intelligence preparation of the operational environment mission at the Narragansett Bay Test Facility.

During the mission, the Snakehead LDUUV conducted long-distance ingress, performed a sonar survey box, collected sonar data and then egressed back to the test facility, Naval Sea Systems Command said Wednesday.

The Snakehead LDUUV is the Navy’s modular, reconfigurable and multi-mission system designed to deliver navigation, guidance and control, maneuvering, situational awareness, propulsion and sensors during IPOE missions.

“The success of Snakehead testing is a direct result of the time and energy spent designing the vehicle. In-lab hardware and software simulations are major contributors to the success in water,” said Allison Philips, the test and evaluation lead for Snakehead at NUWC Division Newport.

In 2020, the Navy issued a solicitation for a contract to design, develop and fabricate two prototypes of the Snakehead LDUUV. The service branch christened the first prototype in February.

Snakehead has since conducted 155 in-water sorties and more than 78 hours of runtime using a government-owned and controlled modular open system architecture.