US Navy debuts "Snakehead" Unmanned Intel Submarine

Snakehead is a modular, reconfigurable, multi-mission underwater vehicle that can be deployed from a submarine. Under development for many years, the U.S. Navy showcased its Snakehead Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) for the first time during a christening event at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport recently. Cheryl Mierzwa, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s technical program manager for the Snakehead Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle, christens the UUV at the Narragansett Bay Test Facility in Newport, Rhode Island, 2 February, 2022.

These drones are built for independent operations and are not under the direct command of submarine crews that take up covert operations with high risks. Snakehead UUVs can be deployed from nuclear-powered submarines that are equipped with dry deck shelters. These are some of the largest undersea vehicles being built that can be deployed by a U.S. submarine. According to NUWC's press release, Snakehead is modular and can be reconfigured to support multiple missions. Equipped with a host of sensors, the UUV is primarily designed to perform Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment mission, a naval term for learning what lies ahead. Prototype Snakehead shown last. See details at

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 22 - 3 - 11 MARCH 2022 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.