How the U.S. Navy Could Use Drones To Kill Submarines

Sometime late last year, the U.S. Navy tested one of Northrop Grumman’s remotely piloted helicopters for use as an anti-submarine warfare platform, USNI News reported. During the evaluation, the Fire Scout drone dropped miniaturized sonobuoys into the water, essentially small acoustic devices that listen for enemy movement underwater.

As the name suggests, the primary goal of anti-submarine warfare platforms is to hunt down submarines, in effect creating a protective bubble around surface ships that are particularly vulnerable to submarine attack. Though this mission is typically done by much larger manned aircraft, like the MH-60R Sea Hawk, unmanned platforms like the Fire Scout offer advantages in range and endurance compared to their manned counterparts.

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