Navy Wants Torpedo Tubes for Underwater Drone Launch

The U.S. Navy is seeking developers that could build torpedo tubes to launch unmanned underwater vehicles from submarines, C4ISRNET reported Sunday.

A notice posted on the Small Business Innovation Research program's website stated the military service plans to replace existing fixed-size torpedo tubes in an effort to reduce reconfiguration requirements for future missions. 

The Office of Naval Research aims to produce a set of tubes measuring 21 inches in diameter and 25 feet in length along with expendable and reusable sabots that would carry the UUVs. 

The sabots should work with drones designed to support launch-and-recovery operations at depths of up to 100 feet below the surface, according to the notice.

Initial phase of the program will focus on concept designs and laboratory experiments, followed by development of prototypes and launch and recovery demonstration. 

Interested parties can submit proposals through May 13.

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