Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Due to cost and manpower, submarines are high-demand, low-density assets. The need for worldwide submarine presence in many roles has increased. AUVs can assume some of the burden that submarines bear and provide access to areas where submarines cannot go. The Navy Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Master Plan (November 9, 2004) declares that: “UUVs offer significant force multiplication for ASW operations…In all cases, UUVs can serve as offboard sensors or sources, extending the range of detection without increasing risk.”
AUVs now come in a wide range of sizes with a rapidly increasing array of capabilities. AUVs are ideal for the challenges of ASW in both open-ocean and littoral scenarios. The two most daunting ASW requirements—longer endurance and advanced autonomy—are a particular area of focus for Bluefin. The relatively small size and programmability of AUVs offers tremendous operational flexibility at a very reasonable cost in both passive and active ASW roles. In ASW, perhaps more than any other arena, AUVs perform those “dull, dirty and dangerous” missions to free submarines for more suitable missions.
Bluefin products that address this application include: