Next generation of U.S. Navy minesweepers to be unmanned surface vessels

ARLINGTON, Va.-U.S. Navy leaders are considering a future generation of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and mission payloads designed to be minesweepers to augment U.S. counter-mine capabilities that blend unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), manned surface ships, and laser-equipped helicopters.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., issued a solicitation (ONRBAA12-018) for the USV Payloads for Single Sortie Detect to Engage (SS-DTE) Mine Counter Measures (MCM) program, which seeks to develop a USV-based system capable of detecting, classifying, and neutralizing floating, moored, and bottom-deployed sea mines in shallow coastal waters and harbors.

Navy researchers are working on an un-manned minesweeper that would launch unmanned underwater vehicles to find and neutralize enemy sea mines.
Navy researchers are working on an un-manned minesweeper that would launch unmanned underwater vehicles to find and neutralize enemy sea mines.

The program has two primary thrusts: launch, control, and communications with the USV and its payload, and neutralizing sea mines.

Navy researchers seek to use a modular open systems approach (MOSA) for all components to enable upgrades and add capability with minimal effort as systems and missions evolve.

Companies interested should send white papers no later than 27 Sept. 2012, and full proposals by 13 Dec. 2012. Navy officials will make selections as early as 14 Jan. 2013.

CONTACT THE NAVY'S John Dudinsky at john.dudinsky@navy.mil or Thomas Swean at tom.swean@navy.mil.


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