The Navy is seeking information from industry about the Mining Expendable Delivery Unmanned Submarine Asset that would meet future submarine payload requirements.
The system will consist of the MEDUSA unmanned underwater vehicle, supporting equipment and payloads, according to a notice released yesterday.
“MEDUSA will be a tactical clandestine mining system, with an expendable Unmanned Underwater Vehicle capable of being torpedo tube-launched from U.S. Navy submarines,” the notice states.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023, there will be a Risk Reduction, Prototype Design, Fabrication and Test Award, leading to the delivery of four prototype units in FY-26, according to the notice.
Additionally, MEDUSA UUV will conform to the Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture, the Navy’s effort to standardize different compartments of unmanned maritime vehicle technology to ensure they easily interface with one another.
The Navy completed a prototyping effort for MEDUSA in 2021 but declined to provide further information on where and when the demonstration took place.
"Lessons learned from the prototype and demonstration will inform a program start in FY-22 and potential contract award in FY-23," Navy spokesman Alan Baribeau told Inside Defense last summer.