The US Navy is to adopt 260 Xserves – the largest Xserve sale to date – to serve as part of a sonar imaging system in its submarine fleet.

Apple's products won't be running Mac OS X – US forces have chosen to run Yellow Dog Linux for PowerPC on the machines. The work is being conducted by Terra Soft Solutions and Lockheed Martin.

Kai Staats, co-founder and CEO of Terra Soft said: "This brings to fruition two years of effort with an intense recent six months of research, coordination, prototype development and testing – a great deal of hands-on collaboration with the Lockheed Martin engineering team. We are proud to implement Yellow Dog Linux in this capacity, to provide a solution trusted by both Lockheed Martin and United States Navy."

US Navy submarines will use the clusters for real-time image processing. Lockheed Martin has chosen to adopt this combination of technologies because they "provide a solution twice as dense, less power consumptive, and higher performance than the previous solution at a similar cost".