Israel-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) developer SpearUAV has officially unveiled its encapsulated, submarine-launched Ninox 103 UW UAS.
The company says the “sub-to-air” system has proven capabilities in underwater-to-air transition for beyond-line-of-sight situational awareness.
Designed for undetectable underwater launch, the Ninox is an autonomous, AI-based system that was unveiled at the Undersea Defence Technology exhibition in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
What makes this system unique is its ability to depart a submarine and launch from the surface with a delay of up to 24 hours.
SpearUAV says the Ninox presents an effective way for submarines, autonomous underwater vehicles and other underwater platforms to gain instant aerial capabilities, supporting special forces, reconnaissance, and joint-force operations.
The UAS has a range of up to 10 kilometers, and an endurance of around 40 minutes with a 1 kg dual sensor (electro-optical/infrared) payload.
While the company says that Ninox is the world’s first sub-to-air loitering UAS, it is not the first submarine-launched UAS. The US Navy is already buying the Blackwing 10C UAS from AeroVironment as part of its submarine-launched unmanned aerial system (SLUAS) program, which is aimed at providing a low-cost solution for operations in anti-access/aerial denial (A2/AD) environments.
AeroVironment developed the system as part of a 2013 Navy and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) sponsored joint capability technology demonstration (JCTD) called Advanced Weapons Enhanced by Submarine UAS against Mobile targets (AWESUM).