Robotic Submarines: How the Navy and Boeing Could Make History

November 20, 2019 | Source: The National Interest, 5 November 2019

The U.S. Navy has ordered from Boeing four huge robotic submarines, potentially signally an effort to deploy a large number of crewless undersea boats alongside traditional, manned submarines.

The Navy's $43 million purchase of four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, or XLUUVs, comes as the fleet struggles to build enough new manned submarines to replace older vessels that are decommissioning as their nuclear cores wear out.

"Boeing based its winning Orca XLUUV design on its Echo Voyager unmanned diesel-electric submersible," Ben Werner explained at USNI News.

"The 51-foot-long submersible is launched from a pier and can operate autonomously while sailing up to 6,500 nautical miles without being connected to a manned mother ship, according to the Navy," Werner continued.