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There are actually small UAV launched by submerged submarines and projects around submersible aircraft, I'm interested in a view of the current state of launching aircraft from submarines.

  • Does anything prevent aircraft to be launched and recovered using submarines platform today?

  • What is the current state of deployment of such technology around the world?

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  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer: I mean today. These submarines are not what I would call indetectable. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Nov 29 '18 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it's possible today. The naval aircraft that are in use today are just too big to store inside a submarine. The F-35 is a VTOL aircraft, but only when very lightly loaded, otherwise it needs a running start. Subs also move on top of the water a lot more than aircraft carriers (not to mention not sticking out as much), which almost necessitates water landings and long recoveries (hoisting). I don't think this can be done with what we have today. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 29 '18 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine? $\endgroup$
    – Pilothead
    Jan 12 at 3:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Pilothead: Closely related, but not a duplicate (this one asks if it's possible, the other asks if it's actually been done). $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Jan 13 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Sean: Thanks for explaining, but I guess this won't be understood by the usual closists. Don't worry. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jan 13 at 23:19
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The Japanese navy did that in WW2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-400-class_submarine

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The Regulus missile was a (pilotless) aircraft launched from American submarines in the 1950s -- it in turn was a nuclear armed upgrade of the Hermes, which was a captured, and later copied, German buzz-bomb launched from a deck catapult.

As noted in another answer, the Japanese built a small number of very large submarines with a sealed hangar on the deck; each carried and could catapult launch (as I recall) three Zero or similar aircraft equipped with floats, which would land alongside and be hoisted back aboard. These subs never saw significant service, as Japan surrendered while the first was on it's first mission near South America.

Modern (nuclear) submarines are highly optimized for submerged operation, and aren't steady enough on the surface to launch and recover piloted aircraft even if modified to carry something like a Harrier or F-35, but there's no reason drones couldn't be launched (brought on deck through the escape trunk, deck hatch, or sail) and, in the case of hovering types, recovered while surfaced.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. Yes there are drones launched from submarine, though I'm interested in larger aircraft, and perhaps related technologies such as submersible aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Nov 30 '18 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ Aren't all cruise missiles pilotless aircraft? $\endgroup$ Nov 30 '18 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ Yep. And Tomahawks launched from torpedo tubes can give attack subs (Los Angeles class) nuclear capability. But you generally don't want to recover a Tomahawk at the originating vessel... $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Nov 30 '18 at 19:55

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