WASHINGTON — Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) hosted a virtual industry day in April, pressing forward with PEO’s mission priorities despite restrictions on gatherings brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual program discussed the requirements for the design, development and production of the Mine Warfare Program Office’s Hammerhead program, according to an April 13 release from NAVSEA.
Sixteen companies participated in the industry day in support of the maritime mine deployment system. Hammerhead is designed to deploy from an unmanned underwater vehicle and detect, classify and destroy anti-submarine warfare assets. The day’s objective was to improve industry’s understanding of the Hammerhead program and accelerate the design, development and production of the system.
The industry day, said PEO USC Rear Adm. Casey Moton, should “stress the importance of the program to the fleet — they want it today, they need it today. … We’re still going to deliver the mission-essential capability, so it’s important that we proceed.”
Moton said the Hammerhead program is designated both a Middle Tier Acquisition Rapid Prototyping Program and a Navy Maritime Accelerated Acquisition, reflecting the urgent need for the capability the system promises to bring.
“We’re looking for industry feedback,” said Capt. Danielle George, program manager of Mine Warfare Programs. “That’s how we’re going to be successful” in meeting the program’s aggressive schedule to deliver this new capability to the fleet.
Chief of Naval Operations Mine Warfare branch Capt. Samuel Davis, resource sponsor for the program, said: “The Hammerhead program will bring important capabilities to the fleet, and we look forward to its development and fielding.”
The government intends to post the final Hammerhead prototype solicitation later this year. Industry will have about four weeks to submit a full proposal for Hammerhead prototypes.
Award of a design and test contract for an expected quantity of up to 30 prototypes is anticipated in fiscal year 2021, with delivery of operationally relevant prototypes by the end of fiscal year 2023.