Navy awards $72 million to Boeing for prototype of extra-large unmanned submarine

The Navy has awarded $72.5 million to Boeing to deliver a prototype of a very large, unmanned submarine for testing purposes, ahead of five of the same model already in production.Boeing has been under contract to build the Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, or XLUUVs, since it won the contract over Lockheed Martin in February 2019.

The Orca could carry a variety of payloads, but it may first “covertly deploy” the Hammerhead mine, a weapon tethered to the seabed and armed with an anti-submarine torpedo, according to a March 31 report from the Congressional Research Service.

The March 25 contract modification allows for a “test asset system” for the Navy to evaluate the Orca platform before receiving the completed submarines, Naval Systems Command spokesperson Jamie Koehler told Stars and Stripes in a Friday email.

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