Boeing has rolled out an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), Echo Voyager capable of operating autonomously for months at a time.
The 51-foot long Echo Voyager runs on a hybrid rechargeable system to run for months autonomously, and can also be launched and recovered without the kind of support ships usually necessary for unmanned, undersea vehicles, or UUVs, Boeing said in a news release Thursday.
"Echo Voyager is a new approach to how UUVs will operate and be used in the future," Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works said. "Our investments in innovative technologies such as autonomous systems are helping our customers affordably meet mission requirements now and in the years to come."
The UUV can be utilized for Surface Intelligence, Surveillance and reconnaissance /information warfare, Payload deployment, Critical infrastructure protection, weapons platform, UAV operations, anti-submarine warfare search and barrier submarine decoy, mine countermeasures and for battle space preparation, Boeing posted in the video.
The new UUV has the ability to collect data, rise to the surface and transmit that data back to researchers "in a near real-time environment," said Lance Towers, Sea and Land, Boeing Phantom Works. Cutting out the need for ships and crews to operate the sub will lower the operating costs, he added.
Echo Voyager joins the 32-foot Echo Seeker and the 18-foot Echo Ranger in Boeing's UUV family, and will begin sea trials this summer off the California coast, the company said. Boeing has designed and operated both manned and unmanned submarine systems since the 1960s, according to the release.