State-owned Mazagaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) has issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) to global firms for collaboration in the Design, Development, and Construction of Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs) that could be used for mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare, and strike missions.

MDL says that XLUUVs are intended to meet increasing demands for undersea operational awareness and payload delivery. Key attributes include extended vehicle range, autonomy, and persistence. XLUUV will transit to an area of operation; loiter with the ability to periodically establish communications, deploy payloads, carry the various pre-programmed mission, and transit home.

This long-range autonomous vehicle will perform a variety of missions for users enabled by a reconfigurable payload bay. A critical benefit of XLUUV is that Navy personnel launch, recover, operate, and communicate with the vehicle from a home base and are never placed in harm’s way. XLUUV is complete with an extensive internal and external payload volume and available energy capacity, expanding the parameters of what is possible in current unmanned undersea systems. The vehicle’s advanced autonomy enables it to perform at sea for months at a time, delivering a more affordable, mission-capable solution over traditional UUVs

XLUUV might be called Mini-submarines, but they are not so small since they can weigh between 45 to 50 tons can travel 6,500 nautical miles (12038 km), and can be operational for months on a single fuel module. XLUUV based on payloads, sensors, autonomy, and other systems can be used for performing a variety of missions. Indian Navy has not revealed specifics of its intended operations or any stealth capabilities.

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