Orca defeats “orcs”: what underwater drones will we see in the future (photo, video)

Engineers are developing autonomous submarines for reconnaissance, mine clearance, targeting and counterattack against enemy forces.

Defensenews.com writes that the Pentagon aims to replenish the U.S. Navy with unmanned submarines in the coming years, with several major developments almost ready to become part of the fleet.

The US Navy will soon take delivery of the Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LUUV) Orca and the UAV (MUUV) Razorback. The Navy believes autonomous submarines are critical as they can in some cases replace submarines and provide additional offensive capabilities against enemy fleets.

It is known that the Orca drone will be launched from the pier and will be used for long missions such as laying mines. As for the Razorback, this MUUV is launched from the attachments that submarines have. Rear Admiral Casey Moton said that a special software will make it possible to remotely control underwater drones, and they will also be able to independently return to the boats from which they were released.

The media also writes that the Navy has signed contracts with Boeing for the supply of 5 Orca prototypes.

In 2017, the Navy seriously approached the need to replenish the fleet with underwater autonomous substrates and chose Boeing as a manufacturing company, according to a report by the State Accounts Chamber. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first car by December 2020 and 5 more by the end of 2022. However, according to Moton, the pandemic intervened – supply chains were disrupted, missing parts and essential components such as lithium-ion batteries. But now, Rear Admiral says tests of underwater drones will begin in early 2023.

Leidos and L3Harris Technologies are working on a medium-sized drone. This new UUV will be able to operate in deeper waters and perform longer missions than the Razorback. Details have not yet been disclosed.

Rear Admiral Doug Perry stated that the attack submarine fleet has 200 torpedo tubes, each of which can be used to launch and recover MUUVs. More specifically, this gives each attack submarine the ability to launch its own reconnaissance aircraft, using it to target targets.

The US Navy also has a number of programs to develop small unmanned vehicles for mine defense. For example, the Lionfish program is developing the Remus 300 and Remus 620 mini-subs, which will replace the Mk 18 Mod 1 Swordfish.

A new version is also being made for the Barracuda, the device responsible for neutralizing mines. An early version by Raytheon Technologies engineers assumed communication with a ground command center, and the updated Barracuda will be an autonomous drone that identifies and neutralizes mines.

As for assault mining, Moton said the Marines will receive the UUV Medusa, a system that can be launched from a substrate and serves as an underwater mine. So, a shock kamikaze drone.

We have previously written about the Remus 620 device equipped with electronic warfare.

Source: Focus


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