Textron to provide engineering support for UISS uncrewed counter-mine surface vessel in $41.7 million order

March 11, 2022
UISS counter-mine system will enable the Navy littoral combat ship to detect, pinpoint, and destroy acoustic and magnetic, and magnetic sea mines.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy uncrewed surface vessel (USV) experts are asking the Textron Systems Corp. Autonomy & Control Systems segment in Hunt Valley, Md., for engineering and technical support for the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) uncrewed surface vehicle (USV).

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $41.7 million order last month to the Textron Systems Corp. Autonomy & Control Systems segment in Hunt Valley, Md., for engineering and technical support, incidental materials, and travel for the UISS uncrewed patrol boat.

The UISS is one of the counter-mine warfare systems that will enable the Navy littoral combat ship to perform mine warfare sweep missions. UISS will target acoustic, magnetic, and magnetic and acoustic combination mine types only. The UISS program provides rapid wide-area mine clearance to neutralize magnetic and acoustic sea mines in a small, lightweight package.

The UISS uses the Textron Common Unmanned Surface Vessel (CUSV), which will travel aboard the LCS and deploy as necessary to detect, pinpoint, and trigger explosive sea mines hidden under the surface intended to damage or destroy surface warships or commercial shipping.

Related: Navy moves forward with unmanned surface vessel with embedded computer for counter-mine warfare

The system consists of the CUSV uncrewed power boat that tows an acoustic and magnetic minesweep system that emits acoustic and magnetic signals that provide a false signature that triggers mines. The surface vessel operates far enough away so that it will not be damaged by a detonating mine, Navy officials say.

The UISS uses the Navy's Multiple Vehicle Communications System (MVCS) aboard the LCS, which handles communications between the LCS surface ship and different mission packages, including the UISS, that involve mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare.

For the MVCS the Navy is using the AB3100H embedded computer from Astronics Ballard Technology in Everett, Wash. The AB3100H rugged computer is part of the company's AB3000 line of small, lightweight embedded computers with the Intel E680T processor, MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429/708/717 interfaces, Ethernet, USB, video, audio, and PMC expansion.

The AB3000 series from Astronics Ballard Technology comes with factory-installed PCI mezzanine card (PMC) modules that enable designers to add an Ethernet switch, synchronous and asynchronous serial interfaces, and isolated double-throw relays.

Related: U.S. Navy test makes major breakthrough in using unmanned surface vessels for ocean mine hunting

The Textron CUSV and its uncrewed maritime command and control station use a modular architecture that accommodates platform reconfiguration and interchangeable payloads.

This CUSV uncrewed boat can handle mine warfare; anti-submarine warfare; communications relay; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; anti-surface warfare; and UAS/UUV launch and recovery missions.

On this order Textron will do the work in Hunt Valley, Md., and Slidell, La., and should be finished by April 2023. For more information contact Textron Autonomy & Control Systems online at www.textronsystems.com/capabilities/autonomy-control-systems, Astronics Ballard Technology at https://www.astronics.com/subsidiary?subsidiaryItem=astronics%20ballard%20technology, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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