Marine

Boeing unveils game-changing autonomous submarine

Boeing unveils game-changing a...
The unmanned Boeing Echo Voyager can remain at sea for months, without any need for a surface support ship
The unmanned Boeing Echo Voyager can remain at sea for months, without any need for a surface support ship
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The unmanned Boeing Echo Voyager can remain at sea for months, without any need for a surface support ship
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The unmanned Boeing Echo Voyager can remain at sea for months, without any need for a surface support ship
The 51-foot (15.5-m)-long Voyager (pictured) joins two other Boeing unmanned undersea vehicles, or UUVs: the 32-ft (9.8-m) Echo Seeker and the 18-ft (5.5-m) Echo Ranger
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The 51-foot (15.5-m)-long Voyager (pictured) joins two other Boeing unmanned undersea vehicles, or UUVs: the 32-ft (9.8-m) Echo Seeker and the 18-ft (5.5-m) Echo Ranger

When you hear the name "Boeing," chances are you think of aircraft. The fact is, however, the company has also been developing underwater vehicles since the 1960s. Its latest such creation, the Echo Voyager, is designed to operate autonomously for months at a time.

The 51-foot (15.5-m)-long Voyager joins two other Boeing unmanned undersea vehicles, or UUVs: the 32-ft (9.8-m) Echo Seeker and the 18-ft (5.5-m) Echo Ranger.

Like them, it's designed to autonomously gather data underwater for scientific, military or other purposes. Unlike them, though, it's not limited to missions lasting no longer than two to three days. Instead, thanks to what's simply described as a "hybrid rechargeable power system," it can keep going for months if necessary.

The 51-foot (15.5-m)-long Voyager (pictured) joins two other Boeing unmanned undersea vehicles, or UUVs: the 32-ft (9.8-m) Echo Seeker and the 18-ft (5.5-m) Echo Ranger
The 51-foot (15.5-m)-long Voyager (pictured) joins two other Boeing unmanned undersea vehicles, or UUVs: the 32-ft (9.8-m) Echo Seeker and the 18-ft (5.5-m) Echo Ranger

Additionally, it doesn't need to be launched and retrieved by a surface support vessel. This means it could depart from and return to shore-based facilities, saving the cost of crewing and operating an accompanying ship. If required, it can automatically rise to the surface at regular intervals, where it will raise a folding antenna to transmit data to its users.

Sea trials of the Echo Voyager are planned to take place off the coast of California this summer. More information is available in the following video.

Source: Boeing

Boeing’s Echo Voyager: Welcome to the Family

6 comments
Cuckoo
This is precisely why Trident is fast becoming and obsolete technology. I'm sure there will be tens of thousands of these things in the oceans before long. Just like has happened in the air.
Morton
Wouldn't it be an interesting coincidence if it takes a Boeing autonomous submarine to find MH370 -- the missing Boeing 777.
Stephen N Russell
Upscale & add missiles then scrap the FBM manned sub fleet alone. Or convert to SSGN types. Or musuems. & or for Navy SEAL missions. (house on ex FBM sub for SEAL use).
Calson
If would be wonderful is a company like Boeing could make high speed trains to improve transportation efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of the US auto and jet pollution dependency. Instead we have to buy them from China or Japan or European manufactures. The USA only seems to be a world leader in producing instruments of death and destruction.
JamesScurry
It's powered by a "hybrid rechargeable power system that can keep it going for months if necessary". This has me very curious as to what they're using. Could it be a nuclear pile that recharges the batteries?
VincentWolf
Skynet gets it's hand on things in a couple decades and it's all over for mankind.