The US Navy, already capable of firing missiles from a submarine, has announced that it has succesfully launched an unmanned drone from a submerged submarine.

After six years of development, the drone called an XFC UAS-eXperimental, was launched via a standard torpedo tube from the USS Providence.

“This six-year effort represents the best in collaboration of a Navy laboratory and industry to produce a technology that meets the needs of the special operations community,” said Dr. Warren Schultz, program developer and manager, NRL.

Navy drone launched from submarine

The Navy said that following the successful test launch, the drone was able to carry out a “several hour” flight. The XFC has the potential to last more than six hours by running on fuel cells and can be launched on land from an object as small as a pickup truck, as well as being launched from the depths of the sea.

This announcement comes at an interesting time, when people are questioning the ethics and practical use of drones. Earlier this week, Amazon announced future plans to use drones to deliver packages across the United States. Since then, the world’s largest parcel service UPS, has also said it is researching the possibilties of using drones for deliveries.

It certainly seems that drones are the up and coming technology. What do you think about them?

[Image via US Navy]

SOURCE: http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2013/navy-launches-uav-from-submerged-submarine