L3Harris moves forward in developing unmanned surface vessel for electronic warfare (EW) and intelligence

July 8, 2021
MUSV is to be a pier-launched, self-deploying, modular open-systems architecture unmanned ship capable of safe navigation and military operations.

WASHINGTON – Unmanned vehicles experts at L3Harris Technologies Inc. are moving forward in a project to design and build a prototype Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MUSV) for intelligence gathering and electronic warfare (EW) missions.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the L3Harris Technologies Unmanned Maritime Systems division in Broussard, La., for engineering and technical support for the Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle program under terms of a $60.5 million contract announced Friday.

One year ago the Navy awarded L3Harris a $35 million contract to build a prototype MUSV, with options for eight more; the contract collectively could be worth as much as $281.4 million.

The MUSV is to be a pier-launched, self-deploying, modular open-systems architecture surface vessel capable of autonomous safe navigation and military operations. It will be 195 feet long, with displacement of about 500 tons -- or about the size of a U.S. Coast Guard inland construction tender.

Related: Navy picks L3Harris to design prototype Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel (MUSV) for ocean intelligence jobs

MUSVs will help the Navy deploy intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and EW capabilities, and provide distributed situational awareness and sensing to the fleet.

The unmanned surface vessel will have the L3Harris ASView autonomy technology, and will maneuver autonomously and will comply with international collision regulations, even in operational environments.

L3Harris is the systems integrator and provides the mission autonomy and perception technology as the prime contractor on the program. The program team includes Gibbs & Cox, a Leidos company in Arlington, Va., and Incat Crowther Pty Ltd in Lafayette La., which will provide the ship design; and Swiftships in Morgan City, La., which will complete the vessel's construction.

Related: Navy reaches out to industry for next-generation electronic warfare technologies for surface warships

The prototype MUSVs will be for experiments before the Navy moves into a follow-on effort to refine the program. L3Harris is to complete the first prototype MUSV as early as late 2022.

On this contract L3Harris will do the work in Morgan City, Jeanerette, New Orleans, and Lafayette, La.; Arlington, Va.; and Worthington, Ohio, and should be finished by December 2022.

For more information contact the L3Harris Technologies online at www.l3harris.com; Gibbs & Cox at www.gibbscox.com; Incat Crowther at www.incatcrowther.com; Swiftships at https://swiftships.com; or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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