AQS- 20 sonar in the mine-hunting
role from a littoral combat ship’s
package. The RMMV developed reliability shortcomings so the Navy
terminated procurement at 10 units.
The role of the RMMV in the
littoral combat ship MCM mission
package eventually will be assumed
by the MCM USV, the Navy’s
term for the Common Unmanned
Surface Vehicle (CUSV), a 38-foot
USV being developed by Textron.
The CUSV was developed as the
USV platform for the Unmanned
Influence Sweep System (UISS),
a “specialized cable and acoustic
system that provides energy and
acoustic into the water that is used
for [neutralizing] electromagnetic
and acoustic mines,” said Wayne
Prender, vice president of Textron’s
Control and Surface Systems. The
CUSV’s mission is being expanded
to include mine hunting.
Textron is testing its first CUSV for the Navy and
has been selected by the service to build two additional
CUSVs for the minesweeping mission.
The Navy has ordered two CUSVs in what Textron
calls “pilot line” models in advance of low-rate initial
production. The two are accelerated units from the six
low-rate initial production units in the Navy’s options.
Delivery of the two is expected by 2018.
“Those boats are going to be delivered with a minesweeping capability in line with the program of record
that we’re working on with the U.S. Navy — the UISS
program,” Prender said. “They will also have the ability to be used in the mine-sensing scenario. Those
orders are going to allow us to continue production
of the craft and implement a new capability onto the
boat, which extends the U.S. Navy’s MCM sweep of
capabilities on the CUSV.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have com-
pleted our initial underway activities, which took place
in our shipyard near Slidell, La., with our sister com-
pany Marine & Land Systems,” Prender said, speaking
of the single Engineering Development Model of the
CUSV. “That was successful. We just transitioned to a
U.S. Navy test facility on the East Coast that is going to
take the program to the next step, where we’re doing
full system-level integration and working through the
capabilities and requirements verification program.”
He noted that by “all accounts to date, the vessel is
performing very well. It is handling well. The payload has
been integrated. Our surveillance system, which includes
our radar and EO/IR [electro-optical/infrared] systems,
has been integrated so the system is full and complete.
“The mine-hunting units, which these two additional craft are, are going to be used for towed sonar
arrays,” he said.
Prender said that Textron has “seen interest
from the U.S. Navy in providing capabilities beyond
the LCS [littoral combat ship] that would be coming
off of various crafts of opportunity,” referring to a
demonstration off San Diego last year from the mobile
landing platform USNS John Glenn. “That provided a
demonstration of capability of the CUSV to be utilized
in whatever mission set, whether it be MCM or ISR
[intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and
maritime domain awareness.”
Other possible roles for the CUSV include anti-
submarine warfare and communications relay.
Prender said the CUSV has “sliding autonomy,”
whereby the system could be commanded and controlled using a remote hand controller all the way
through a fully automated mission scenario where
the system can be preloaded or dynamically retasked,
and the system can then execute that mission set
The first Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), a 38-foot USV being developed by
Textron and tested for the Navy. The service has selected two additional CUSVs for the mine-