The XFC UAS was fired from the submarine's torpedo tube using a Sea Robin launch vehicle, which is designed to fit within an empty Tomahawk launch canister.
Once deployed from the canister, the Sea Robin launch vehicle, with integrated XFC, rose to the ocean surface and on command it was launched from the Sea Robin and flew for several hours.
"The creativity and resourcefulness brought to this project by a unique team of scientists and engineers represents an unprecedented paradigm shift in ... propulsion and launch systems," said Dr. Warren Schultz, program developer and manager at the Naval Research Laboratory.
The Navy said the XFC UAS project has been in the works for six years.
The XFC is a fully autonomous folding wing UAS. It has an endurance of more than 6 hours and is for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.