““Overall, we think unmanned space is going to fundamentally change the Navy going forward,” Petters said at the time. “The intent to try to make ships more lethal, from the Navy standpoint, is something we’re paying closer attention to.”

Faced with a manpower challenge and a growing list of subsurface threats, the Navy increased its investment into UUVs as part of as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget submission last year. Last February, the Navy called for investing $359 million into new UUVs.

“The increase in funding from FY 2019 to FY 2020 includes $182 million for the development, fabrication, and testing of the ORCA Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles and $68 million to support the advancement of Large Diameter Unmanned Undersea Vehicles,” the Navy wrote in its budget brief.”