The RFP was issued on beta.sam.gov on May 22, 2020. The solicitation reads:
The purpose of this update is to release the official Request for Proposal N00024-21-R-5211 for Small Surface Combatant (SSC) Combat System (CS) Ship Integration and Test (SI&T).
Offerors are notified that the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare System (PEO IWS) 8.0 is hereby issuing a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP). The Procurement of efforts required are to provide, Combat System (CS) Ship Integration and Test (SI&T) for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Freedom and Independence variants, and Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) Ships, Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 through FY 2031. This includes development and updating of test documents; modification and update of CS Space Arrangements, CS Installation Control Documents, and CS Interface Control Documents; provide Engineering support; perform CS Integration and Test Planning; conduct Waterfront CS Integration and Test; and support Post-delivery Test Teams.
The full (225 pages) RFP document is available at this link. Offers are due by 22 July.
US Navy’s LUSV
The Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) United States Navy project set to begin construction in 2020. The LUSV will have the capacity for modular payloads such as anti-ship, anti-submarine or anti-air weapons and be designed to be affordable, high-endurance, reconfigurable ships based on existing hull forms. Capable of operating with human operators in the loop (and aboard for port maneuvers), the U.S. Navy envisions the LUSVs operating alongside fleets as scouts and magazine ships.
$209.2 million of funding for the initial two LUSVs, set to begin construction in 2020, was included in the 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill, with plans to buy eight more over the five-year projection known as the Future Years Defense Program.
During SNA 2020, the Surface Navy Association’s national symposium held earlier this year, Atlas North America (the U.S. branch of German company ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, owned by TKMS) and their partner The Columbia Group unveiled an LUSV design concept based on the MEKO A-100 hull form (picture above and at the top of the article) by TKMS. The MEKO A-100 is about 100 meters in length.
At last year’s Sea Air Space trade show (SAS 2019), Alabama shipyard Austal USA unveiled several USV concepts including an LUSV design based on its existing existing catamaran design: The Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) currently in production for the U.S. Navy (and previously known as the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The “unmanned EPF” artist impression shows it is fitted with a number of Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells. The Spearhead-class EPF is 103 meters in length.
Back in August 2019, USNI News reported that the LUSV could be based on something similar to the NAVSEA-developed Iraqi 60-meter Offshore Support Vessel.
LCS Lethality and Survivability Upgrade
LCS lethality and survivability upgrades are set to give both LCS types new features to help the U.S. Navy outpace adversary threats.
Features like next generation electronic warfare capabilities via the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP), an integrated shipboard combat system, over-the-horizon capability via the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) or Nulka, a rapid response active expendable decoy system that would give the LCS a more effective way to respond to anti-ship missiles and increase commonality across the fleet.
At last year’s SNA 2019, Lockheed Martin unveiled a scale model dubbed “LCS with Lethality and Survivability Upgrades”. This scale model featured a number systems never seen before on a Freedom type Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), including four Nulka decoy launchers, eight NSM anti-ship missile launchers, two SEWIP Block 3 jamming modules and eight Mk41 vertical launching systems (VLS) in their “strike length” variant.
At this year’ SNA 2020 Lockheed Martin was showcasing an updated “Freedom-class LCS with lethality and survivability upgrades” scale model fitted a laser weapon system. Chris Cavas interviewed for Naval News Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin Vice President and General Manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems, about the model: