Textron Ready Now to Build CUSVs for the Navy
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — Textron Systems is expecting a Milestone C decision from the Navy this year to begin production of the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), an unmanned boat designed to tow a minesweeping package and now being developed for a mine-hunting capability.
“We’re ready to build now, Wayne Prender, Textron Systems vice president of Control & Surface Systems, told Seapower Jan. 11.
Prender declined to discuss the company’s production capacity for the CUSV but said that “we have the ability to increase that capacity.”
The two early prototypes of the CUSV have been extensively tested by the Navy since their delivery. Textron also is building two “pilot line” — production standard prototypes — that will be equipped with Raytheon AQS-20 and Northrop Grumman AQS-24 mine-hunting sonar pods for the mine-hunting role.
The company also has built a fifth CUSV, a fourth-generation version that is company-owned and will be used for concept and technology development, Prender said.
Since the first CUSV was demonstrated in 2009, Textron has developed concepts for missions other than mine countermeasures. These include carrying offensive armament, including machine guns for direct fire and missiles for indirect fire, he said.
Prender stressed the versatility of the CUSV both as a mission module of the littoral combat ship and as an asset for other ships, such as the expeditionary mobile base ships.
“I anticipate a lot of growth,” he said, noting possible addition of electronic warfare or signals intelligence mission suites.