The MUSV will be a pier-launched, self-deploying modular, open architecture surface vehicle capable of autonomous navigation and mission execution. The development RFP contains options for additional USVs. A full and open competitive procurement will take place in fiscal year (FY) 2019.
Accelerating Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) and payload development and warfighting integration will provide an inflection point in delivering a more distributed force in support of the National Defense Strategy. The Navy plans to award a contract for a single MUSV prototype in the first quarter of FY20.
The Navy released a draft MUSV performance specification Feb. 5 and conducted an MUSV Industry Day Feb. 12-13. Through months of dialogue with industry, the Navy has incorporated feedback that informed the RFP released on July 16.
The U.S. Navy is moving forward with plans to design and develop large, medium and small size USVs to support operations in blue and littoral waters.
Rear Admiral Ronald A. Boxall, Director of Surface Warfare OPNAV N96, said in late 2018, that the focus of his command will be to pack more sensors and weapons into surface vessels so a smaller number of larger vessels can act as command and control for smaller unmanned vessels.
“If you think about what we are trying to do with the surface force, we have large and small surface combatants […] but we have no requirement for unmanned surface vessels right now, which I see as an absolutely critical part of distributed lethality, distributed maritime operations environment that we are moving into. Ultimately I need more nodes out there.”
Rear Admiral Ronald A. Boxall