USS Providence Credited with Submarine History
In 2008, USS Providence commemorated the 50th anniversary of submarine history, the polar transit by USS Nautilus (SSN 571) in 1958, by breaking through the ice at the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean, while en route to the U.S. 7th Fleet's AoR.
Congratulations are in order for the captain, crew, and the dozen or so 'riders' on USS Providence (SSN-719). The oldest LOS ANGELES class sub of the 30 (active) fitted with 12 vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles, USS Providence becomes the first sub to successfully luanch a drone while submerged.
The Navy announced Dec 5th that in a recent feat developed over six years, an XFC UAS-eXperimental drone was recently launched using a similar methodology to how the Navy deploys Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The test launch was followed by what the Navy says was a successful, "several hour" flight. The XFC itself can last for more than six hours on fuel cells, and be launched from something as small as a pickup truck when on land, the Navy says.
Once deployed from the TLC, the Sea Robin launch vehicle with integrated XFC rose to the ocean surface where it appeared as a spar buoy. Upon command of Providence Commanding Officer, the XFC then vertically launched from Sea Robin and flew a successful several hour mission demonstrating live video capabilities streamed back to Providence, surface support vessels and Norfolk before landing at the Naval Sea Systems Command Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), Andros, Bahamas. source
The timing of the announcement two days before Dec 7th (Pearl Harbor Day) may have been designed to 'throw water on' or delay anticipated announcements of rather superficial drone/submarine progress by Iran, Russia, China, and even North Korea.
As usual, the future will let us know the exact nature of such announcement(s). Stand by.
Submarines are always silent and strange.