Captured-UUV-in-Pyongyang-North-Korea

Updated. See Forbes article HERE


NMRS Underwater Drone in North Korea
Flag Flag An often misunderstood object on display next to the USS Pueblo in Pyongyang, North Korea, is an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). These are used for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) missions. Although the North Koreans describe it as a UUV, many tourists mistake it for a regular torpedo. In detail it is quite different.
Underwater Drone UUV captured by North Korea
photo via @Chris V, Twitter

The vehicle was first reported in August 2006 as having been captured in the eastern city of Hamhung. North Korea claimed that it was a US Navy device. At the time it was reported that the US dismissed the reports. The vehicle closely resembles the US Navy's NMRS (Near-term Mine Reconnaissance System):
Underwater Drone UUV captured by North Korea

The near-term mine reconnaissance system (NMRS) was an interim system until a long term system was available. The project started in the mid-1990s when covert mine reconnaissance was identified as a top priority.

Missions included remote surveillance in shallow and deep water, including precise location and classification of mine-like objects. It could also be used for detection of gaps in minefields that could be exploited by covert and amphibious forces. And surveillance of coastal environments preceding an amphibious assault. A typical system had two torpedo-shaped, tethered unmanned uncrewed vehicles (UUVs). These were launched / recovered from Los Angeles class submarines via the torpedo tubes.
Underwater Drone UUV captured by North Korea


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The nose of the vehicle is generally blunt with three sonar arrays facing directly forward. The arrays each have a different alignment. There is also a probe like structure, possibly related to obstacle avoidance and or docking.
Underwater Drone UUV captured by North Korea
photo via @Chris V, Twitter


The twin contra-rotating screws are reminiscent of the US Navy Mk.37 torpedo. They have been given a screw-back form however.
Underwater Drone UUV captured by North Korea
Underwater Drone UUV captured by North Korea
photos via @Chris V, Twitter

NMRS Reference images
Underwater Drone UUV NMRS
Underwater Drone UUV NMRS


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Underwater Drone UUV NMRS


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