Navy to Bring MCM Systems to Production Decisions This Year
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Navy has scheduled three mine countermeasures (MCM) systems for developmental tests (DT) and two for operational assessments (OA) this year, with Milestone C production decisions of the first two expected before the end of fiscal 2018.
Speaking Feb. 6 at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Defense, Protection and Security event, Rear Adm. John P. Neagley, program executive officer for Littoral Combat Ships, said the progress expected in fiscal 2018 will leverage the progress made in 2017 in the Navy’s alignment of unmanned system efforts across the portfolio.
Neagley credited much of the progress of the Navy’s unmanned surface and underwater programs to the close relationship with the fleet end user.
The three MCM systems are designed for deployment on the Navy’s littoral combat ships.
He said the Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicle — built by General Dynamics — will commence its DT/OA this month, with a Milestone C decision scheduled for the third quarter of fiscal 2018.
“We’re very excited about the capability it’s going to bring us,” Neagley said.
The Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) — developed by Textron and currently in builder’s trials — is a mine sweeping magnetic and acoustic system towed by a Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle. The UISS is scheduled to go through DT/OA this spring, with a Milestone C decision scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Raytheon will deliver 10 AQS-20C mine-hunting sonars to the Navy this spring, with DT scheduled for the third quarter of fiscal 2018.
Neagley said these systems and others are designed to “take the Sailor out of the minefield” and to “go prosecute at long distance.”