The Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit is searching for commercial small boats to conduct littoral and distributed maritime operations.
DIU, which aims to leverage new technologies for the U.S. military, states in a recent solicitation that the platform should be able to perform reconnaissance, sensing, tactical maneuver and logistics support.
“The ability of the prototype to demonstrate simplicity, robustness and modularity across varying conditions and settings is of strong interest, to include features that enable fast, mobile, low-signature movement and sustainment of naval expeditionary forces operating across a series of austere, temporary locations,” DIU said.
The proposed solution should align with small boat use cases in the Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations concept, integrate external autonomous platforms and demonstrate endurance ranges at or beyond 300 miles, according to the solicitation.
The platform should also maintain high speeds at or beyond 35 knots, transport approximately eight to 15 combat-loaded personnel, demonstrate maneuverability and operate with limited signature, DIU states.
While the solicitation doesn’t list a specific service intended for the platform, it states that solution use cases could include “integration with standard U.S. Marine Corps communications platforms/sensor suites.”
“The planned period of performance for both prototyping and mission concept sprints is 18-24 months,” DIU states.
The agency is considering companies that can deliver two of the proposed solutions by April 2023 and deliver additional prototypes by June 2023.