U.S. Navy Development Squadron 5 Receives First LTV 38 Unmanned Undersea
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Johndro, Commander,
Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5 (CSDS 5), Detachment UUV,
took delivery of Large Training Vehicle 38 (LTV 38), an unmanned undersea
vehicle (UUV) Aug. 22. The delivery makes LTV 38 the first UUV to join
the vehicle inventory used by detachment UUV at Naval Undersea Warfare
KEYPORT, Wash. (Aug. 22, 2014) Sailors assigned to Commander, Submarine
Development Squadron (CSDS) 5, Detachment Unmanned Undersea Vehicle,
prepare Large Training Vehicle 38 (LTV 38), an unmanned undersea vehicle,
to be unloaded at Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Keyport. LTV 38 is designed
as a full-pressure hull vehicle, capable of both line of sight and over
the horizon communications in support of intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication
Specialist 2nd Class Justin A. Johndro/Released)
a few final operational preparations are completed over the next few
weeks, it will be ready to hit the water for both capabilities tests
and proficiency training.
"This is certainly a key milestone for Detachment UUV in that we
will have a baseline training vehicle for the future of Large Displacement
UUVs," said Lt. Brian Nuss, officer in charge at Detachment UUV.
LTV 38 was originally developed for the Sea Stalker program. The vehicle
is 27 feet in length and 38 inches in diameter, and was originally assembled
in 2008 by Penn State University's UUV land-based test facility at State
College, Pennsylvania. It underwent its first series of operational
tests shortly after its assembly and made its first operational deployment
on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).
"This process was a long time coming," said Sonar Technician
(Submarines) 1st Class (SS/DSV) Travis Townsend, leading petty officer
at detachment UUV. "Puget Sound has a great undersea and naval
presence. It truly makes sense for the detachment to receive this vehicle
and start preparing for what the future of the Navy holds."
As a UUV, LTV 38 is able to perform at a maximum depth of 1,000 meters
for up to 72 hours. It is designed as a full-pressure hull vehicle,
capable of both line of sight and over the horizon communications, and
can also conduct limited autonomous contact avoidance maneuvers via
acoustic sensors while anchored and such missions are conducted and
UUVs allow naval submarines to safely gain access to denied areas with
revolutionary sensors and weapons. These areas may be denied based on
unacceptable risks to a submarine such as extremely shallow water, very
poor acoustic conditions, or mined waters. UUVs provide unique capabilities
and extend the "reach" of naval platforms while reducing the
risk to the submarine and its crew.
The use of unmanned vehicles in the undersea environment is projected
to grow for the Navy. During a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest,
Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told Sailors he envisions
having autonomous underwater vehicles on patrol by the end of the decade.
"The future large-diameter vehicles will come in 2020 and in order
for the detachment to fully prepare for the delivery of those vehicles
we have to start with the tactics, training and procedures now to make
it a successful program in the future," Nuss said.
According to the Penn State University Applied Research Lab, the Pacific
Northwest provides key components for efficient transition of UUV technology
to the fleet that includes technology development, testing and evaluation,
and fleet presence.
"We couldn't have done this without the partnership from Keyport,
Penn State and Commander, Submarine Force Pacific, supporting us both
financially and realizing that there's a gap in training that needs
to be filled for Det. UUV to succeed in the future," said Nuss.