KSNF/KODE — Undersea warfare experts at Boeing will continue supporting extra-large unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), which will be expected to undertake long-endurance missions to deploy sensors or other UUVs.

Officials of the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced an $11.6 million order to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Huntington Beach, Calif., for engineering support services in support of the Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) program.

On this order, Boeing will do the work in Huntington Beach, Calif.; East Greenwich, R.I.; Herndon, Va.; Cockeysville, Md.; and Joplin, Mo., and should be finished by September 2023.


Extra-large UUVs typically are autonomous mini-submarines that measure about seven feet in diameter — sometimes larger. They are designed for launch from shore or from large military ships with well decks, or from large civil vessels with moon pools.

The modular-construction Boeing Orca XLUUV will be an open-architecture reconfigurable unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) with the core vehicle providing guidance and control, navigation, autonomy, situational awareness, core communications, power distribution, energy and power, propulsion and maneuvering, and mission sensors, Navy officials said.

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The Orca XLUUV will have well-defined interfaces for cost-effective future upgrades to capitalize on advances in technology and respond to threat changes. The Orca XLUUV will have a modular payload bay, with defined interfaces to support current and future UUV payloads.

XLUUVs, which are among the largest unmanned submersibles ever conceived, will be for long-endurance surveillance missions or undersea cargo vessels to deliver other sensor payloads and other UUVs.

These large unmanned undersea vehicles eventually could be used as motherships to deploy and recover smaller surveillance UUVs on far-flung reconnaissance, surveillance, or special warfare missions in the open ocean or along coastlines and inside harbors.

You’ll find more information on the Orca XLUUV, HERE.