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Cormorant Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)

Program Manager: Dr. Thomas Beutner



The Cormorant Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) program will examine the feasibility of a UAV that may be deployed from the sea without carrier support. The program will explore concepts that launch from both the sea surface and submarines. Technical challenges include aircraft structural integrity and water tightness at submarine launch depths and on the surface, aircraft dynamics at the air/sea interface, engine technology to survive periodic immersion in salt water, and advanced composite materials development to withstand sea-surface operations. The Cormorant UAV is envisioned to provide close air support for vessels such as the Littoral Combat ship (LCS) and SSGN. Pending the outcome of demonstration results, transition of the Cormorant UAV to the Navy is planned after the completion of Phase III in FY 2010.

Program Plans

  • Initiate feasibility studies; conduct modeling and simulation vehicle behaviors in the air/sea interface.
  • Explore novel composite materials.
  • Perform concept design studies.
  • Perform engine quick start demonstration and engine concept development.
  • Perform risk reduction experiments for materials and subsystems including full scale end-to-end splashdown to docking demonstration.

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Last Updated: 4/13/06