GD To Develop an Underwater Unmanned Vehicle to Support LCS Mine Hunting Capability

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U.S. Navy Sea Systems Command has awards General Dynamics Advanced Informational Systems (GD-AIS) $87 million contract to develop an Unmanned Underwater Mine Countermeasure Vehicle.

The Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (SMCM UUV) system will initially be a part of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Warfare mission package.

Under this contract the company will deliver one Engineering Development Model (EDM). The Navy has options low-rate initial production systems under this budget.

The SMCM UUV will enable the ship’s crew to detect and identify mines in high-clutter underwater environments in a single pass, including mines that are suspended in the ocean, resting on the sea floor or buried. Additionally, it will gather environmental data that can provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems.

The system will be based on an open systems architecture approach to ensure flexible integration with the LCS mission package architecture, as well as other ship types. The Navy’s evolving and dynamic mission requirements call for a design that allows “plug and play” integration for ship’s systems and mission modules. These interchangeable packages of specialized equipment allow the Navy to quickly reconfigure a ship for changing mission requirements.

The General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems team includes Bluefin Robotics, Quincy, Mass.; Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems, Braintree, Mass.; and Oceaneering International, Houston, TX.

The program office for this contract is the Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office (PMS 406), one of six program offices within the Navy’s Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ship (PEO LCS).