The Navy is bulking up its fleet of autonomous robot vessels with the purchase of a cadre of four of Boeing's extremely large and incredibly grandiose unmanned Orca submarines.

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A video screen grab shows the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, during it's commissioning ceremony. The ship is the Navy's newest fast attack submarine. (U.S. Navy video)

Ninety-two-year-old World War II veteran Richard "Dick" Hackley handed over the watch Saturday to Lt. Ben McFarland, a sailor assigned to the Navy's newest submarine.

Hackley served as a radar operator on the USS South Dakota (BB 57), among the most decorated battleships of the war.

McFarland, known as a plank owner, is among the first to serve on the fast-attack submarine USS South Dakota (SSN 790), which was commissioned at the Naval Submarine Base before a crowd of about 1,400 people. Another 800 watched on a screen from nearby Dealey Center on base.

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A 132-foot robot warship that arrived at Pearl Harbor for testing as a submarine hunter is “creating a new paradigm for Navy surface forces,” the U.S. Pacific Fleet said.

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Life as a submariner is inherently secretive.

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U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 1st Class Armando Gonzales

Faulty welding in missile tubes bound for the Navy's newest submarines could create additional problems for one of the Navy's most expensive and highest-priority programs.

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Navantia

And you thought the Indian navy's screen-door-on-a-submarine moment was bad: Apparently, the Spanish navy's brand new diesel-electric S-80 Plus submarines are too girthy for their berthings. And in this case, size really does matter:

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