The RMMV. Photo: U.S. Navy
The RMMV. Photo: U.S. Navy

The Navy has issued a draft request for proposals for the full production of the Remote Minehunting System (RMS) and Remove Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) designed to be the centerpiece of the Littoral Combat Ship’s (LCS) mine countermeasure mission package.

The Navy has scheduled an industry day to take place Tuesday in Washington as part of the re-competing of the RMS and RMMV program originally awarded to Lockheed Martin [LMT] in 2005 for low-rate initial-production (LRIP). The draft RFP was released March 13.

The draft calls for the production of 18 of the unmanned RMMVs. They deploy off the LCS carrying variable depth sonar to search for, classify and report the location of mines back to the sailors for subsequent neutralization.

Lockheed Martin is also under contract to integrate the RMS into the LCS’s mine countermeasure mission module. The RMS is the overall support system for mine reconnaissance and consists of the RMMV.

The semi-submersible RMMV is designed to swim undetected for up to 24 hours into suspected minefields. Deploying the unmanned system to look for mines allows the Navy to keep ships as sailors at a safe distance from the hazardous area.

The Pentagon regularly re-competes some contracts hoping that the competition will drive down cost and spur innovation. It was unclear how many other companies may offer bids to challenge Lockheed Martin, which is confident in the solution it is offering.

“Lockheed Martin’s RMS RMMV solution is based on a mature, proven product that exceeds reliability goals and demonstrates its unique capabilities as part of the LCS Mine Countermeasures Mission Package,” said Steve Froelich, the program director at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training unit. “The company will offer a low risk solution backed by nearly two decades of contract performance, more than $20 million of investment in production and test facilities, and staff with unique expertise in mine reconnaissance application of a semi-submersible vehicle.”