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Israeli Firm Unveils Submarine-Launched Loitering Drone

Israeli drone maker SpearUAV has unveiled a submarine-launched unmanned aerial system for beyond-line-of-sight situational awareness.

The Ninox 103 quadcopter is the first non-tethered, underwater-launched loitering drone in the world, according to the company. 

The encapsulated drone can float dormant on the surface for 24 hours and then launch. 

Its ruggedized casing is capable of withstanding “wind speeds of up to 20 knots, and other harsh weather and battle conditions,” the Tel Aviv-based firm claims on its website.

The drone is designed for an “undetectable” underwater launch, enabling underwater platforms to “gain instant aerial capabilities, supporting those of special forces, reconnaissance, and joint-force operations.”

Extends Submarine Capabilities

The drone has a reported range of up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), a flight time of 40 minutes, and a 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) payload, depending on mission requirements.

The Ninox 103 seamlessly fits into the submarine’s launch infrastructure, and its low visual, thermal, and acoustic signatures enable stealth operations. It communicates with submarines or other platforms using “encrypted communications, 3rd-party data integration, and cross-domain connectivity.”

“A submarine is a standalone platform that cannot always use other force assets for its intelligence-gathering requirements,” Gadi Kuperman, founder and CEO of SpearUAV, told Janes.

“Additionally, submarine periscopes are naturally somewhat limited in what they can see. Our Ninox 103 sub-to-air loitering system brings a completely new dimension to that submarine intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance functionality.”


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