ARL supports training and CONOPS development for UAS package delivery to ballistic missile submarine

The U.S Navy successfully conducted the first at-sea drone delivery to a ballistic submarine thanks to specialized training provided by the University of Hawai’i Applied Research Laboratory. This Unmanned Aerial Vehicle re-supply was one of four events and part of U.S. Strategic Command’s expeditionary logistics in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

A long-endurance quad-copter drone delivered a small package to the U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Henry M. Jackson on Monday, October 19. Applied Research Laboratory at UH worked hand-in-hand with COMSUBPAC sailors over 3 months to develop customized best practices and training protocols for this unique demonstration. ARL developed and conducted rigorous training exercises with SUBPAC sailors using low-cost training equipment, including a modified boat trailer, to ensure the Navy sailors-turned-pilots were ready for the big event. The majority of trainings were held at Bellows Air Force Station where the team had space to practice taking off, landing, and delivering packages to moving vehicles.

The project is the latest collaboration between the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force (SUBPAC) and the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at UH that owns and operates the UAV.