Northrop’s ASDS Launched from Host Submarine

Thursday, September 12, 2002
The U.S. Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) and the U.S. Navy's USS Greeneville (SSN 772) have accomplished the last significant test of the ASDS system prior to its Operational Evaluation the successful launching and recovery of the system from a host submarine. For this most recent system test, ASDS Boat 1 successfully completed multiple launch and recovery docking scenarios with the USS Greeneville. The successive dockings over a several day period further validates the capability of the system to operate in the undersea environment. The ASDS is a mini-submarine intended to clandestinely carry Navy SEALs and their combat gear to and from hostile shores enabling a number of special operations missions. The boat was designed and developed by a team comprising Northrop Grumman Corporation's Oceanic & Naval Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and USSOCOM. "This was the last major hurdle for this unique warfighting system," said Capt. Joe Fallone, program manager (PMS395), Deep Submerge Program, and the NAVSEA ASDS program manager. "A lot of hard work went into making this trial a success. We are now one step closer to giving the special operations warfighter a remarkable capability."

The USS Greeneville and the USS Charlotte (SSN-766) are the two submarines currently configured and certified to host the ASDS. Additionally, the U.S. Navy plans to modify the four Ohio-class SSBNs slated to be converted into SSGNs to carry up to two ASDS vehicles each. The ASDS is a key element in the transformational capabilities of the SSGN. Since December 2001, Boat 1 has successfully completed an aggressive schedule designed to fully test the capabilities of the ASDS and prepare it for an Operational Evaluation in mid-2003.

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