HII awarded contract for nine Lionfish small UUVs

By Nick Wilson / October 11, 2023 at 2:12 PM

Shipbuilder HII has received a $20 million award to build nine small unmanned undersea vehicles for the Navy's Lionfish program in a contract that could climb to as many as 200 SUUVs and almost $350 million over the next five years, according to a Wednesday company announcement.

The initial $20 million award, announced by the Navy in late September, will see HII’s Mission Technologies division working through September 2024 to deliver nine of the seven-foot-long unmanned vessels intended to perform a variety of undersea missions.

The Navy selected HII’s REMUS 300 SUUV to serve as the basis for the Lionfish program of record in March 2022, beginning an initial programmatic phase consisting of low-rate initial production and prototype testing.

At the time of this selection, an HII spokesperson told reporters he could not speak directly to the desired capabilities of the Navy’s Lionfish program but said uses for the commercial REMUS 3000 include mine countermeasures, data collections and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

HII’s Wednesday release describes Lionfish as a “highly portable, two-person SUUV with an open architecture design and versatile payload options.”

“Lionfish provides increased capability and interoperability that aligns with the Navy’s undersea priorities, and we look forward to delivering next-generation vehicles that can readily adapt to and support a variety of mission needs,” said HII Executive Vice President and Mission Technologies President Andy Green in a statement included in the release.

The Navy and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit jointly developed the Lionfish program through a two-year process of spiral development incorporating feedback from “multiple user groups to uniquely meet the needs of the warfighters,” the release adds.

The Navy’s fiscal year 2024 budget request seeks $8.7 million in research and development funding for Lionfish and indicates FY-24 funds will support initial acceptance testing, delivery, and fielding of production units following an authority to operate decision.