US Navy Approves Extra Funds to Textron’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System
On May 8, 2020, the US DOD agreed a USD $20,720,170 cost-plus-fixed-fee revision to contract N00024-14-C-6322 signed with AAI Corp., a.k.a. as Textron Systems, set at Hunt Valley, Maryland. The contract extension includes engineering and technical services to develop Textron’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) and Unmanned Surface Vehicle program, following February 2020 approval of low-rate initial production (LRIP).
UISS is the US Navy’s first unmanned surface vehicle (USV) program of record, devised for the challenging maritime situation. It offers unmanned mine countermeasures and capabilities by employing switchable payloads and innovative devices and completed the Navy developmental test and operational assessment. It is part of a comprehensive Mine Counter Measure Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV) mission, designed to be utilized from the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and other vessels.
Textron Systems is the major supplier and system integrator for the UISS and MCM USV programs.
The manufacturer recommends CUSV as a multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle, able to carry multiple payloads, including side-scan sonar, mine neutralization, non-lethal weapons, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors.
Textron’s UISS will allow the Littoral combat ship to achieve its mine countermeasure sweep job and targets acoustic, magnetic, and magnetic/acoustic blend mine types. According to Textron Systems, the UISS program will fulfill the US Navy’s demand for a fast, wide-area coverage mine clearance capability, which is essential to offset magnetic/acoustic influence mines. The UISS also aims to deliver a high-area coverage range in a small, lightweight set with minimum effect on the hosting platform.
In September 2014, US DOD granted the first contract; additions postponed its completion by September 2020 at an accrued cost of USD 122,1m. Presently, work should be complete by September 2021 at an up-to-date price of USD 142,8m against a potential value of USD 165,2m. Manufacturing sites are at Textron’s Hunt Valley, Md. and New Orleans.
High endurance: 20+ hours
Satellite communications capable
Range: 140 km
Launch: docks, well decks, and LCSs
Survivability: Up to sea state 5 (13 foot/ 4-meter wages)
Conforming to NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4586, Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) protocol and Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) communication architecture
Mine countermeasures (MCM) to sweep, hunt and nullify menaces
Towing capacity: 4,000+ pounds-force at 20 knots