The Textron-developed Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) for mine countermeasures has been granted US Navy’s Milestone C approval, obtaining an approval for low-rate initial production.
The Milestone C decision was announced by the Program Executive Officer for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) on February 26.
Designed for the littoral combat ship (LCS) as part of the mine countermeasures mission package, the UISS consists of a mine countermeasures unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and a towed minesweeping payload for influence sweeping of magnetic, acoustic and magnetic/acoustic combination mine types. UISS can also be launched from vessels of opportunity or from shore.
Formal developmental testing and operational assessment of UISS took place off the coast of South Florida and successfully concluded in late November 2019. Testing included a series of end-to-end minesweeping missions against simulated mine targets using the Navy Instrumented Threat Targets training system.
LCS detachment sailors performed operations during developmental testing and operational assessment that included shore-based launch and retrieval of the system, command and control, mission planning and post-mission analysis. The UISS USV also completed initial integration tests with the LCS and vessels of opportunity.
Textron Systems was awarded an EMD contract in October 2014 for the UISS, based on its Common USV. The navy exercised options for two additional vehicles in 2017, which were delivered in 2018 in support of the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle program that will leverage the UISS USV for missions that include minehunting and mine neutralization.
The navy awarded Textron $21.7 million on February 28 for the procurement of three LRIP systems on the current engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract
Textron is expected to begin delivery of LRIP systems in fiscal 2021.