US Navy awards Lockheed ‘Orca’ XLUUV design phase contract

Photo: Lockheed Martin

The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin $43.2 million contract for work on the US Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) Orca.

The contract is the first part of a two phase competition which includes 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.

Lockheed Martin will be competing with Boeing for the final production contract for the Orca 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.”

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