Navy lays out plans for rapid acquisition of unmanned surface ships and submarines to augment manned fleet

March 25, 2021
Navy leaders plan to buy the first five extra-large unmanned submarines from Boeing, and will buy additional XLUUVs at two per year starting in 2023.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy leaders say they want to develop three types of large unmanned marine vessels: large unmanned surface vehicles (LUSVs); medium unmanned surface vehicles (MUSVs); and Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs). USNI News reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

25 March 2021 -- The Navy requested $579.9 million in 2021 research and development funding for these large unmanned surface ships and submarines, as well as their enabling technologies. Congress approved $238.9 million this year for Navy unmanned marine vessels.

The Navy wants to acquire these large unmanned vessels to shift the Navy to a more distributed fleet architecture that would include fewer large surface combatants like cruisers and destroyers; more small surface combatants like frigates and littoral combat ships; and add significant numbers of large unmanned vessels.

The Navy envisions large unmanned surface ships that are 200 feet to 300 feet long and displace 1,000 to 2,000 tons, and to be low-cost, high-endurance, reconfigurable ships based on commercial ship designs, with ample capacity for carrying various modular payloads -- particularly anti-ship and land-attack missiles.

Related: Pentagon gets serious about unmanned surface vessels

Related: Boeing to develop new payloads, capabilities, and missions for Orca large long-range unmanned submarines

Related: Navy moves to low-rate initial production of minehunting unmanned surface vessel

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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