The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded initial design contracts to two contractors for the development of a flexible payload bay to equip the US Navy’s projected Orca Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV).
Under the umbrella of the Hunter flexible payload bay programme, DARPA awarded Applied Physical Sciences Corporation (APS) and Northrop Grumman Phase 1 Base contracts in early December.
The Orca XLUUV is intended to be a modular, open architecture UUV deployable from a pier or a host amphibious ship platform. The system, being developed in response to a Pacific Fleet Emergent Operational Need to counter adversary anti-access/area denial capabilities, has been conceived as a means to deploy a range of payloads (both kinetic weapons and non-kinetic capabilities).
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