LUSV analysis of alternatives pushed to next year

By Audrey Decker / December 20, 2021 at 1:44 PM

The Navy will not finish its Offensive Surface Fires analysis of alternatives on the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel until next year.

Navy spokesman Lt. Lewis Aldridge told Inside Defense on Thursday that the AOA should be completed by February or early March, but the exact timeframe is unknown.

Aldridge said it’s “not a delay,” just that the analysis hasn’t been finished yet.

The Navy expected to complete the analysis and report its findings to Congress “before the end of this calendar year,” according to joint testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Service seapower subcommittee in June.

House and Senate defense authorization panels included a provision in the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the Navy to conduct an AOA.

“As directed in the FY-21 National Defense Authorization Act, the Navy is conducting a Distributed Offensive Surface Fires AOA to compare the currently planned large unmanned surface vessel with an integrated missile launcher payload against a broad range of alternative surface platforms and capabilities to determine the most appropriate vessel to deliver additional missile capability and capacity to the surface force,” the joint testimony states.

The Navy also said it is delaying production of LUSVs to ensure technical maturity in FY-22 and instituting a prototyping plan to be completed before production.

Initial production of LUSVs was planned to begin in FY-23, but the Navy is delaying production “until the enabling technologies are sufficiently mature and representative machinery has been qualified,” according to the service’s FY-22 budget justification documents.