US-based company L3 Technologies has been selected to design advanced sensor and communications capabilities for the US Navy’s Orca extra-large unmanned undersea vehicle (XLUUV).

The company will carry out the work as part of the Boeing-led team that received a potential $42.3m contract to design an XLUUV platform for the navy in September.

Lockheed also received a $43.17m contract for design efforts of the Orca XLUUV system.

As part of the project, L3 Technologies will design advanced communications, mission planning, autonomy, navigation, cybersecurity and anti-tamper capabilities for the system.

The company will also be responsible for integrating the upgraded capabilities throughout the vehicle and system, which includes both fixed onshore command centre and a mobile unit, as well as forward operating base support systems.

“We are developing discriminating unmanned undersea technologies to stay on the leading edge as the undersea threat evolves over the next decade.”

L3 Technologies president and chief operating officer Christopher E. Kubasik said: “As part of the Boeing team, L3 is committed to meeting the US Navy’s urgent operational need with advanced capabilities.

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“This contract demonstrates our ability to integrate a range of unmanned undersea sensors and systems from across the company and accelerate our undersea growth strategy.”

The company’s sensor and communication systems business segments collaborated to design the latest capabilities for the XLUUV programme.

L3 Technologies senior vice-president and sensor systems president Jeff Miller said: “We are developing discriminating unmanned undersea technologies, including vehicles, communications, power capabilities and sensors, to stay on the leading edge as the undersea threat evolves over the next decade.”

L3 Adaptive Methods is the firm’s newest business in the unmanned undersea market, which will work as a supporting member of the parent company.