Boeing has won a $43-million contract with the U.S. Navy to build four Orca Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUV). These autonomous robotic submarines are based on the Echo Voyager, but “will be modular in construction 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,” the Pentagon announcement said. Read more for another video and additional information.
“The most obvious difference between the Echo Voyager and the new Orca, at least based on Boeing’s concept art, is the replacement of the earlier undersea drone’s propeller with a shrouded propulsor. This improves propulsion efficiency and reduces noise, the latter factor being especially important for underwater military craft, where silence is essential to survival,” reports The Drive.