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Giant Orca Drone for US Navy Is Faltering on Boeing Shortcomings, GAO Says

  • GAO faults Navy for not requiring Boeing to show its readiness
  • Project is 64% over original cost estimate, three years late
The Orca prototype was christened in a ceremony in Huntington Beach, California, in April.
The Orca prototype was christened in a ceremony in Huntington Beach, California, in April.Source: Naval Sea Systems Command
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Orca, the US Navy’s mine-laying drone, is running at least three years late and 64% over original cost estimates because the service failed to determine that aerospace giant Boeing Co. had the skills needed to build the seagoing vessel, according to congressional auditors.

“These cost overruns and schedule delays are attributable, in part, to the Navy’s decision to not require the contractor to demonstrate its readiness to fabricate the prototype, as called for by leading acquisition practices,” the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Wednesday.