Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have each recently presented a new generation of Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (XLUUVs). These innovative vehicles are designed to operate for extended periods of time underwater, performing a variety of missions such as reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, and mine countermeasures. With their advanced capabilities and cutting-edge technology, the new XLUUVs are poised to revolutionize the underwater domain and provide a game-changing advantage to naval forces around the world. In this article, we will explore the features and benefits of these groundbreaking vehicles, as well as their potential applications in military and civilian contexts.
The US Navy has achieved a significant breakthrough in its pursuit of reliable undersea capability with the successful christening and first in-water test of the Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) Test Asset System. This achievement took place on April 28, 2022, in Huntington Beach, California, and was marked by a team of high-level officials, including Capt. Scot Searles, program manager for Unmanned Maritime Systems (PMS 406), representatives from the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Ship Programs, the Undersea Warfare Division of the Chief of Naval Operations, and executives from Boeing.
The Orca XLUUVs are critical to the Navy’s operations and are designed to operate independently or in conjunction with manned vessels. The five operationally relevant prototype Orca XLUUVs are expected to be produced and deployed in the coming years.
The Orca XLUUVs represent a significant advancement in the Navy’s undersea capability, allowing for increased mission range and endurance while reducing the risk to human operators. The unmanned system is designed to provide persistent undersea surveillance, as well as to support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The Orca XLUUVs can also be configured for anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions.
The successful testing of the Orca XLUUV Test Asset System represents a critical milestone in the Navy’s pursuit of reliable undersea capability. The Navy has been investing heavily in unmanned systems over the past decade, recognizing the potential for unmanned systems to augment and enhance manned systems in a variety of domains, including undersea operations. The Navy’s investment in unmanned systems is driven by the desire to increase operational flexibility, improve mission efficiency, and reduce the risk to human operators.
The successful testing of the Orca XLUUV Test Asset System is a testament to the Navy’s commitment to investing in innovative technology and leveraging cutting-edge capabilities to enhance the Navy’s operational effectiveness. The Orca XLUUVs represent a significant step forward in the Navy’s pursuit of reliable undersea capability and highlight the Navy’s dedication to maintaining its technological edge.
Overall, the successful testing of the Orca XLUUV Test Asset System is an important milestone in the Navy’s pursuit of reliable undersea capability. The Navy’s investment in unmanned systems underscores the importance of innovation and technological advancement in maintaining the Navy’s operational effectiveness. The Orca XLUUVs represent a significant advancement in the Navy’s undersea capability and are poised to play a critical role in future Navy operations.
The BlueWhale™ System (ELI-3325) is a cutting-edge autonomous submarine system designed to undertake critical missions in open seas, hard-to-access littoral waters, and choke points. The system has been developed to be highly-endurable and stealthy, making it ideal for anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, and intelligence gathering.
With the ability to detect and track targets both above and below the surface, BlueWhale™ can perform onboard sensor data processing, providing real-time intelligence to command and control through a dedicated broadband-secured satellite channel. This enables the system to relay actionable intelligence that is critical to the success of missions.
The system’s advanced capabilities make it a vital asset in naval operations, where situational awareness and response time can mean the difference between success and failure. The BlueWhale™ system’s autonomous capabilities, combined with its long-endurance and stealthy nature, enable it to operate covertly and undetected, making it an invaluable asset in high-risk environments.
Furthermore, the system’s ability to operate in hard-to-reach areas, such as littoral waters and choke points, makes it a key component in securing vital shipping lanes and ensuring the safety of naval assets.
Overall, the BlueWhale™ System represents a significant advancement in autonomous submarine technology, providing critical capabilities for anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, and intelligence gathering in challenging environments. As naval operations become increasingly complex and demanding, systems like the BlueWhale™ will play an ever more vital role in ensuring mission success.
Media: Courtesy of Boeing, IAI