The US Navy (USN) will soon deploy its newest, largest underwater drone for deterrence against adversaries, which would also feature impressive offensive and intelligence-gathering capabilities at a much lower cost than conventional submarines.

US Navy’s Ongoing UUVs Program

In late September, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific to check on the status of the Navy’s extra large unmanned undersea vehicles (XLUUV), which comprise both submarines and surface ships. The development of the sophisticated UUV is the latest wartech innovation and a priority the service branch deems amid the growing tension in the Asia-Pacific.

SECDEF visit highlights autonomous vehicle innovations at NIWC Pacific
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III discusses autonomous innovations at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific on September 28, 2022, during a visit to the San Diego-based command. (Image source: DVIDS)

During his tour, Austin received briefings on the project’s current status and remarked on the importance of collaboration to make this cutting-edge technology successful.

Taking notice of the increasing high-tech war machines from its adversaries, the US Navy has been proactively investing in UUVs to maintain naval superiority. Accordingly, the service aims to build a family of the latest tech, including the Snakehead large displacement uncrewed undersea vehicle (LDUUV), Orca XLUUV, and the Lionfish Small UUV, to name a few.