Tag Archives: Orca submarine

Orca submarine is yet another case of the Navy spending money like a drunken sailor, by Jeff Shogol

The only difference between the Navy and a drunken sailor is that taxpayers don’t pick up drunken sailors’ bar bills. From Jeff Shogol at taskandpurpose.com:

The Navy’s bad luck streak continues.

Orca submarine
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Ships), christens the Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Test Asset System during a ceremony April 28, 2022, in Huntington Beach, California. (Boeing).

top me if you heard this one before: A new Navy vessel designed to do great and wonderful things is now an over-budget and behind-schedule boondoggle that is posing more headaches for the U.S. military than it ever will for the Chinese navy.

The Navy’s Orca submarine program is the latest example of the Navy’s shipbuilding woes. The 85-foot-long, 80-ton unmanned submarines are supposed to lay Hammerhead mines on the ocean floor, which wait for enemy submarines to pass by before firing a torpedo at the aquatic adversary.

In February and March 2019, the Navy awarded contracts to Boeing for five Orca submarines, the first of which was supposed to be delivered by December 2020 followed by the remaining four by the end of this year. Originally planned to cost $379 million, the first five Orca submarines are now expected to come in at $621 million, an increase of $242 million, or roughly 64%, a recent Government Accountability Office report found. The five Orca subs are currently expected to be delivered between February and June 2024.

For the Navy, the story of the Orca submarine is another case of Déjà vu all over again. Just like the Zumwalt-class destroyers, the USS Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, and the much-derided Littoral Combat Ships, the Navy has yet again leapt without looking with new technologies.

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