Navy works on unmanned, undersea vehicles

Friday - 10/21/2011, 9:28am EDT

Capt. Duane Ashton, executive office for Littoral Combat Ships, U.S. Navy

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When you think of unmanned defense systems, drones hurtling through the air is probably top of mind.

But the Navy is working on an unmanned underwater vehicle.

The service is working with General Dynamics to develop underwater mine detection vehicles.

The Navy awarded the company a $48 million dollar contract earlier this month for the project, dubbed the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Underwater Vehicle. The vehicles, which will be launched from the service's new Littoral Combat Ships, will eventually be able to pick out and identify sunken mines in underwater areas with lots of clutter.

Capt. Duane Ashton, the program manager for unmanned systems in the Navy's program executive office for Littoral Combat Ships. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss the new device and how it furthers Navy's trend toward using more unmanned vessels.