The Navy just awarded Boeing a contract to build a giant robot submarine, called the Orca Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle, which it says will prowl the depths of the ocean autonomously for months at a time.
The U.S. Naval Institute says the sub will be used for “mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare and strike missions.”
It’ll also be modular, with a “payload system” that can house 2,000 cubic feet of custom equipment.
The Orca will also potentially house some serious weapons, PopMech reports, with the ability to pack light and heavyweight torpedoes and lay mines — or it could stick to autonomous reconnaissance.
“This sort of versatility in a single, low-cost package is fairly unheard of in military spending,” PopMech wrote.
READ MORE: The Navy Just Ordered the ‘Orca,’ an Extra-Large Unmanned Submarine by Boeing [Popular Mechanics]
More on robot submarines: China Built a Robot Submarine to Shoot Rockets Into Typhoons