DARPA awards design contracts for XLUUV flexible payload bay

13 December 2017

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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