General Dynamics [GD] Robotic Systems earlier this month delivered the first 11-meter "Fleet" class Anti-Submarine Warfare Unmanned Surface Vehicle (ASW USV) to the Navy as part of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission package, the company said.
General Dynamics has worked in partnership with a Navy team that includes PEO-Littoral & Mine Warfare (LMW), PMS-420 LCS Mission Package Systems, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) to design, integrate, test and deliver the USV, the company said.
A second USV will be delivered to NUWC, Newport, R.I., in June.
These USVs are the first unmanned surface vehicles to ever receive hull numbers from the Navy, and will be known as "11MUC0601" and "11MUC0602," respectively, according to General Dynamics.
The ASW USV operates and supports payloads and sensor systems, including an unmanned towed-array sonar system and an active multi-static offboard low-frequency sonar system. The General Dynamics-designed vehicle provides a high-speed, high-payload capable craft with sea keeping characteristics, along with a state-of-the-art unmanned navigation and autonomous control capability that includes 360-degree situational awareness, the company said.
The USV has a payload capacity of 5,000 pounds, beam length of 11.2 feet and is capable of operating continuously for 24 hours or more. During high-speed transits the vehicle can reach speed of 35 knots or higher. A government-developed bow latch will launch and recover the unmanned surface vehicle from the LCS. As a semi-autonomous vehicle, the USV is capable of way-point navigation, sea keeping and station keeping. To fulfill its mission, the LCS-based ASW USV performs the Maritime Shield, Protected Passage and Port Reconnaissance ASW missions to protect Navy surface ship battle groups, General Dynamics added.
General Dynamics, along with its partner Austal USA, are building the second ship of the LCS class, the USS Independence (LCS-2), in Mobile, Ala.
Lockheed Martin [LMT] is teamed with Wisconsin-based Marinette Marine [MTW] on the lead ship, the USS Freedom (LCS- 1).