Home Europe Royal Marines seeking stealthy USV for surface and sub-surface ops

Royal Marines seeking stealthy USV for surface and sub-surface ops

USV inside the well deck of HMS Albion
Illustration: The Royal Navy is already experimenting with a number of unmanned vessel technologies, such as the Mast 13 unmanned boat seen here in the well deck of HMS Albion

The UK defense ministry has released a request for proposals for a new unmanned surface and subsurface vessel (USSV) for the Royal Marine Commando Force.

According to the RFP, which was released on September 10, the multi-payload, low-signature vessel is to be capable of delivering covert capability both on the surface and sub-surface.

As explained, the USSV is expected to have a low visual signature when on the surface and be completely autonomous whilst integrating within the naval strike network.

The MoD wants the USSV to be capable of conducting multiple mission types, including the deployment of sensors and effectors and strike capabilities from both surface and sub-surface.

Interrogation of the operating area by this vessel will support Royal Marine Commando Forces in future operations. It will be capable of supporting long endurance missions with a loiter capability and be self-deployable at high speed, extended range and exhibit high maneuverability.

Other pre-requirements for the platform include complete interoperability to be launched and recovered from the sea and current/future shipping. It should also be capable of being transported in a 40ft ISO container.

The platform design needs to have demonstrated a degree of maturity through use of de-risked and demonstrated technology, the MoD release further said.