Boeing Introduces Long-Endurance UUV, Echo Voyager
On March 10, Boeing introduced the Echo Voyager, an unmanned underwater vehicle that can operate autonomously for months at a time, due to a hybrid rechargeable system and modular payload bay. The Echo Voyager is the latest innovation in Boeing’s UUV family — the company has designed and operated manned and unmanned deep sea systems since the 1960s — joining the 32-foot Echo Seeker and the 18-foot Echo Ranger.
“Echo Voyager can collect data while at sea, rise to the surface, and provide information back to users in a near real-time environment,” says Lance Towers, director of Sea and Land at Boeing Phantom Works. “Existing UUVs require a surface ship and crew for day-to-day operations. Echo Voyager eliminates that need and associated costs.”
The 51-foot-long vehicle is not only autonomous while underway, but it can also be launched and recovered without the support ships that normally assist UUVs.
“Echo Voyager is a new approach to how unmanned sea vehicles will operate and be used in the future,” says Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works. “Our investments in innovative technologies such as autonomous systems are helping our customers affordably meet mission requirements now and in the years to come.”
The Echo Voyager will begin sea trials off the California coast later this summer.