Boeing to integrate payload delivery system on Orca drone submarine
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) asked Boeing to integrate a payload delivery system on the US Navy’s first-ever Orca Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV).
The $8.51 million contract modification is part of the second phase of the Hunter program to develop an innovative concept for the delivery of advanced underwater payloads.
Northrop Grumman is in charge of developing the system, while Boeing will be responsible for integrating it into the extra-large underwater vehicle.
The Payload Delivery System is a crucial part of the Orca XLUUV as it allows for the integration of advanced surveillance sensors, weapons and drones.
Work for the contract will be performed in California and is expected to be completed by March 2023.
The Orca XLUUV
Boeing won a $43 million contract in 2019 to produce the Orca XLUUVwhich is capable of undertaking long endurance missions.
The drone submarine would be designed to meet the growing demand for underwater operational awareness and payload delivery.
The Orca offers enhanced guidance and control, navigation, range, situational awareness and basic communications through a modular design.
It has a recorded top speed of eight knots (14.8 kilometers / 9.2 miles per hour) and a maximum range of 6,500 nautical miles (12,038 kilometers).
In addition to payload delivery, the Orca XLUUV can be used for mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and electronic warfare missions.