Submarine Drone Called Orca Being Designed for Military

Lockheed Martin is working on a big submarine drone called Orca.  The drone is designed to go off on its own for months at a time.  It will perform a number of functions including intelligence, reconnaissance, mine defense, and even anti-submarine warfare.

From Next Big Future

Lockheed Martin is designing Orca, the U.S. Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV). Orca is being designed to support multiple critical missions.

This long-range autonomous system will have the payload capability to perform a variety of missions, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; mine countermeasures; indication and warning notification; as well as serve as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training platform. These systems can be used for long-endurance surveillance and to deliver other payloads.

The US Navy provided a design phase contract valued at $43.2 million for Orca, the U.S. Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV).


This long-range autonomous vehicle will perform a variety of missions, enabled by a reconfigurable payload bay. Key attributes include extended vehicle range, autonomy, and persistence. Orca will transit to an area of operation; loiter with the ability to periodically establish communications, deploy payloads, and transit home. A critical benefit of Orca is that Navy personnel launch, recover, operate, and communicate with the vehicle from a home base and are never placed in harm’s way.

“With each new undersea vehicle that Lockheed Martin designs, we bring to bear the state-of-the-art in technology, and innovative system integration of those technologies, to increase the range, reach, and effectiveness of undersea forces and their missions,” said Frank Drennan, director, submersibles and autonomous systems, business development. “With decades of experience supporting the U.S. Navy’s mission, our engineers are approaching this design with a sense of urgency and continued agility.”

XLUUV Orca is a two phase competition, including the currently awarded design phase and a competitive production phase for up to nine vehicles to meet increasing demands for undersea operational awareness and payload delivery.

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