The Navy is planning four more increments to the
“This is by design and per requirement, and is often
misunderstood,” Moton said. “The first increment
delivers today’s mature MCM systems to provide initial
capability. As follow-on Navy MCM programs of
record develop and mature, they are integrated into the
MP to provide additional or improved capability. The
modular capability of LCS enables this without change
to the sea frame (unlike modernizing a traditional
Increment 2 will provide beach zone mine detection
with the currently operational MQ- 8 Fire Scout vertical
takeoff unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with the
Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis system,
an electro-optical sensor optimized for mine detection
in the surf zone.
Increment 3 will provide a sustained influence
sweep capability with the Unmanned Influence Sweep
System, an unmanned surface vehicle — a boat — towing a long, submerged magnetic-field-generating cable
with a Mk104 acoustic generator to detonate mines.
The cable and Mk104 simulate the passing of a ship to
explode magnetic and acoustic mines. The Mk104 also
is used on the MH-53E MCM helicopter.
The Unmanned Influence Sweep System, built by
Textron Systems’ Unmanned Systems in Hunt Valley,
Md., completed its preliminary design review in April
and is scheduled for critical design reviews later this
year. One vehicle will be built and put to the test by the
end of the year, said Bill Leonard, the company’s director of unmanned surface systems, to have it “fully integrated and tested and ready for the Navy to take over
and do some of their development testing in the late
September/October 2016 timeframe. The Navy will
then take it and do their evaluations for about six
months. That should be ending March 2017.
“We developed software that actually will reside on
both versions of the littoral combat ship on their common control station,” Leonard said.
The Unmanned Influence Sweep System will be
tested at the Textron facilities in Slidell, La., before it is
turned over to the Navy’s mine warfare testing center
in Panama City, Fla. If successful, Textron can expect
an initial order for six systems.
Increment 4 will feature the Knifefish unmanned
underwater vehicle, a development of the 10-foot-long,
21-inch diameter Bluefin 21 vehicle with a side-scan
sonar that will provide a buried mine-detection capability at a speed of three knots and to a depth of 900 feet.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / JUNE 2015
The Unmanned Influence Sweep System, built by Textron Systems’ Unmanned Systems in Hunt Valley, Md., includes an
unmanned surface vehicle — Common Unmanned Surface Vehicles are shown here — towing a long, submerged magnetic-field-generating cable with a Mk104 acoustic generator to detonate mines.