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An advanced undersea payload delivery system will be built for future extra-large unmanned underwater vehicles (XLUUVs). These giant vehicles and their weapons and sensors typically are autonomous mini-submarines that measure about seven feet in diameter — sometimes larger. They are designed for launch from shore, from large military ships with well decks, or from large civil vessels with moon pools.

Northrop Grumman will develop the $3.4 million project for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company will support the second phase of the Hunter program to develop a payload-delivery system for a large unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The Hunter program involves only the payload delivery system and not the extra-large UUV itself.

DARPA Hunter for unmanned submarines payloads is a 45-month program in three phases: the first to design and build the payload delivery device to fit inside a government-provided payload module; and the second and third phases to support integration of the payload delivery device into the big UUV for testing. Technical details of the Hunter program are classified.

Now Northrop Grumman will continue integrating Hunter payload-delivery systems for large unmanned submarines like the Boeing Orca, according to militaryaerospace.com.