VIDEO: Boeing reveals new autonomous unmanned submarine

Image, Video: Boeing

American multinational aerospace company Boeing has introduced their latest unmanned, undersea vehicle (UUV), the Echo Voyager.

The company said the drone submarine is able to operate autonomously for months at a time thanks to a hybrid rechargeable power system and modular payload bay.

According to Boeing, the 51-foot-long vehicle is not only autonomous while underway, but it can also be launched and recovered without the support ships that normally assist UUVs. Echo Voyager is the latest innovation in Boeing’s UUV family, joining the 32-foot Echo Seeker and the 18-foot Echo Ranger.

Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works, said: “Echo Voyager is a new approach to how unmanned undersea vehicles will operate and be used in the future. Our investments in innovative technologies such as autonomous systems are helping our customers affordably meet mission requirements now and in the years to come.”

Echo Voyager is set to begin sea trials off the California coast later this summer.

While the company did not specify whether the submarine would be used by the U.S., or any other navy, the video states that the vessel can be used for surface intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, as a weapon platform or a mine countermeasures vessel among many other capabilities listed.

Lance Towers, director, Sea & Land, Boeing Phantom Works, said: “Echo Voyager can collect data while at sea, rise to the surface, and provide information back to users in a near real-time environment. Existing UUVs require a surface ship and crew for day-to-day operations. Echo Voyager eliminates that need and associated costs.”