The Navy today announced it plans to issue a draft "build-to-print solicitation" to produce an unmanned surface vessel focused on mine countermeasures in the coming months.
The Pentagon last year approved the Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Surface Vehicle program. The Navy's initial plans are to equip Textron's Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle with the AQS-20C and AQS-24B mine-hunting sonar systems, according to Capt. Pete Small, the Navy program manager overseeing most of the service's unmanned efforts. Small said the Navy would also explore other payloads moving forward.
"The Government anticipates releasing a draft [request for proposals] in calendar year 2019. The formal solicitation release is anticipated in fiscal year 2020," according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice posted today.
MCM USV is one of several solicitations in various stages of development concerning unmanned and autonomous efforts. Other solicitations for unmanned programs being developed or circulated to industry include Medium and Large USVs as well as Medium and Large Unmanned Undersea vehicles.