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SpearUAV unveils Ninox 103 submarine-to-air loitering UAS

A computer-generated image depicting a Ninox 103 launch from a submarine. (SpearUAV)

Israeli tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) house, SpearUAV, has revealed a new capsuled loitering system development that utilises underwater-to-air transition technology to deliver an organic, real-time, beyond-line-of-sight situational awareness capability for submerged submarines.

“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 (ISR) functionality. Critically, Ninox 103 extends and enhances the ISR range of a submarine while submerged … This technology marks [the] first time that an underwater platform can project an ISR capability without revealing its presence,” he added.

Unveiled at the Undersea Defence Technology exhibition in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on 7 June, the Ninox 103 sub-to-air loitering UAS is a development evolved from an earlier ‘first-of-type' technology engine initially intended for use with ground or air platforms. Ninox 103 sub-launched is now the baseline for all future developments in this class.

The Ninox concept provides for a family of different calibre lightweight, modular payload, optionally recoverable low radar cross-section folding quadcopter UAS platforms that are housed in ready-to-deploy, hermetically sealed ‘smart' capsules, and ruggedised to withstand extreme environmental conditions. Each capsule is furnished with an integrated proprietary launch mechanism that enables the UAS to be safely launched and instantly deployed. The capsule also acts as a wireless router between the encapsulated UAS and the user command-and-control (C2) system, which, in the case of Ninox 103, is integrated within the submarine's mission architecture.

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