Textron plans to incorporate amphibious and surface warfare capabilities into a long-range unmanned vessel designed to help the U.S. Navy carry out minesweeping operations, USNI News reported Wednesday.
The company tested Northrop Grumman’s AN/AQS-24 sonar and Raytheon’s AN/AQS-20 system to explore the potential of integrating minehunting features into the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle.
Additionally, Textron and the military service installed a lethal surface warfare package that houses two vertical-launch Hellfire missiles, FN Herstal’s Sea deFNder remote weapon station and a battle management tool into the ship.
“We are on the precipice of getting Milestone C” acquisition decision to move into low-rate initial production, a very busy 2019 that saw us go from one craft to four craft operating at times in up to three simultaneous test locations,” said Wayne Prender, senior vice president for applied technologies and advanced programs at Textron.
The Navy intends to build a separate USV hull that will enable the service branch and the U.S. Marine Corps to deploy new payloads.