Boeing has delivered the first Orca Extra Large Uncrewed Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) to the U.S Navy following acceptance testing completion this month.

The XLUUV, designated by the U.S Navy as ‘Orca’, is a new class of autonomous submarine that can perform long duration critical missions to “achieve undersea maritime dominance in changing environments and contested waters”.

“This is the culmination of more than a decade of pioneering work, developing a long-range, fully autonomous undersea vehicle with a large payload capacity that can operate completely independently of a host vehicle,” said Ann Stevens, Boeing Maritime and Intelligence Systems vice president.

“I’ve had the distinct pleasure of witnessing our team bring this first-of-its-kind capability to life, and I’m proud of their innovation, perseverance and unwavering commitment which has yielded the most advanced and capable UUV in the world. With the Navy’s partnership, we look forward to continuing to deliver this game-changing vehicle to the fleet.”

Orca has undergone several phases of at-sea testing, including above and below surface maneuvers to demonstrate the vehicles’ unique capabilities.

In 2012 Boeing initiated the design and development of Echo Voyager, a proof-of-concept XLUUV that began at-sea testing in 2017 and was a precursor to the US Navy’s Orca XLUUV competition. Echo Voyager – the world’s only vehicle of its size and capability – has spent over 10,000 hours operating at sea and transited hundreds of nautical miles autonomously.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Frank
Frank
3 months ago

So, What does it actually do ?

Tim
Tim
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

From what I’ve read it seems to be for intelligence gathering electronic warfare and eventually sea mining ability

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Cheers mate.

George
George
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I recall reading some suggestion they be used in conjunction with smaller drones, to patrol undersea communication cables and gas pipelines. As well as patrol off shore energy fields. Oil, gas and wind farms. As AI is improving by leaps and bounds, more aggressive missions will follow.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago

Is the picture of the stretched version? I thought it was stubbier than that

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

There’s a 10m minelaying payload module stretching it out, but it’s just a file picture of an artist’s impression. Many actual photos we have seen of “Orca” up until now were of a stubbier mash-up they delivered in lieu of the real thing, which has been running years late. I assume it’s the first of the real ones that has finally been officially handed over.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jon
Ralph
Ralph
3 months ago

XLUUV, sounds like an adult website.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Ralph

There are about 98% of regular posters on here who have suddenly gone Quiet !!!!! 😂

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

For the chubby lovers out there

George
George
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Naughty naughty 😺

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Does look a bit like a 🍆

Peter Boyle
Peter Boyle
2 months ago
Reply to  Ralph

That’s because it probably is!

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago

These unmanned subs are an interesting area going forward.
Power is going to be one area to be worked out. Reliability is another.
Soon will we have large mother subs with numerous baby unmanned subs around it.
So much potential

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

It will be interesting to see how comm’s are handled, especially if it finds a target of interest. Will it release a comm’s buoy so it can keep tracking the target, or will it rise to just under the surface and raise an antenna, but then loose contact with the target?

Deep32
Deep32
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

To track the target it has to keep pace with it. A SMs typical transit speed is 10-15kts, no way in the world this can match that speed for more than an hour or so before it requires to recharge its battery.
More importantly, how is it going to determine if the sound source it has potentially detected is in fact a threat or indeed what it is tasked with looking for.
We’ve had auto-classifiers for years, they aren’t that good certainly not trusted, which is one of the reasons why we still have manned SMs mate.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Hi Deep, Happy New Year by the way. Cheers for the insight. I guess we can all be guilty of assuming that the latest gadget does it all. To be blunt the only in-service sub I have been on was down at Mare Harbour, where we were given a tour. I know the T-boat we were shown around, was bigger than the previous class. But, I think it takes a special kind of person to live in the that kind of environment for months on end! So what you’re basically saying is sonar technology wise, we haven’t really progressed from… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi DB, Happy New Year to you too mate. Sorry if my post came across a bit blunt, wasn’t intended as such, joys of trying to post when on a break at work. Should know better really. Mate, this environment is the most misunderstood and hardest to relate too for the vast majority of people, simply because they don’t have to as they don’t work in it and probably never will. The only reference is really what they can read about or what they have seen on the screen, which, isnt really much to go off. Technology has progressed over… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago

I just wonder what tech will be given away if none of these is somehow aquired(recovered after malfunction, command system hacked etc) by our enemies it was snooping on.