Kingfish and Dragon Master

After WWII, minesweeping took to the air, at least in the U.S. Navy, and by the 1960s helicopter-borne sleds were the name in the game (see RH-3A’s on USS Ozark in a past Warship Wednesday for more on that).

Current tech involves the MH-53E Sea Dragon towing the Mk-107 sled. The thing is, the Navy just has two dozen ‘Dragons left and they are scheduled to be retired by 2025.

So what is the replacement plan for the ship-based Airborne Mine Counter Measure (AMCM) mission?

Last month the folks at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, dunked a UUV into the drink via chopper.

naval-surface-warfare-center-panama-city-division-dragon-master-air-crew-scientists-and-engineers-successfully-deploy-a-mk-18-underwater-unmanned-vehicle
They used a “Dragon Master” MH-60S helicopter of HX-21 to drop a MK18 Mod 2 Kingfish underwater unmanned vehicle into the drink. Kingfish has been around since 2011 and deployed in 2013 with the 5th Fleet for tests. The 600-pound, 12-foot long UUV is outfitted with several different

The torpedo-shaped 600-pound, 12-foot long UUV is outfitted with several different pencil and side-scan sonars attuned to mine hunting but can also be used for route recon, debris field inspection, salvage work and just about any other underwater tasking. Based on the Kongsberg Maritime Hydroid REMUS 600, it can remain on task for 24-hours before needing a recharge and dive to 2,000-feet.

The test seemed to go well, by all accounts.

“Once in a hover, the crewman streamed the mass model and adapter into the water and initiated release of the MK18 MOD2 mass model. Once the MK18 MOD2 mass model was released from the UUV adapter the crewman retrieved the adapter back to storage position on the side of the aircraft,” said NSWC PCD MH-60S Integration Lead Tim Currie. “The total operation, from liftoff to touchdown, took 18 minutes. The release of the mass model and recovery of the UUV adapter took approximately three minutes.”

More here

Now they just have to test how to get it back out.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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