SAN DIEGO, 11 June 2008.General Dynamics Robotic Systems (GDRS) in Westmonster, Md., delivered the first 11-meter "Fleet" class Anti-Submarine Warfare Unmanned Surface Vehicle (ASW USV) to the U.S. Navy as part of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission package. General Dynamics Robotic Systems is a part of General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich.
GDRS featured their technology at the AUVSI North America 2008 this week in San Diego.
General Dynamics has worked in partnership with a Navy team that includes PEO-Littoral & Mine Warfare (LMW), PMS-420 LCS Mission Package Systems, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego (SSC San Diego) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) to design, integrate, test and deliver the USV.
A second USV is being delivered to Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., this month. These USVs are the first unmanned surface vehicles to ever receive hull numbers from the Navy, and will be known as "11MUC0601"and "11MUC0602," respectively, GDRS officials say.
LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ASW USV operates and supports payloads and sensor systems, including an unmanned towed-array sonar system and an active multi-static offboard low-frequency sonar system. The General Dynamics-designed vehicle provides a high-speed, high-payload capable craft with excellent sea keeping characteristics, along with a state-of-the-art unmanned navigation and autonomous control capability that includes 360-degree situational awareness.
The USV has a payload capacity of 5,000 pounds, beam length of 11.2 feet and is capable of operating continuously for 24 hours or more. During high-speed transits the vehicle can reach speed of 35 knots or higher. A government-developed bow latch will launch and recover the unmanned surface vehicle from the LCS. As a semi-autonomous vehicle, the USV is capable of way-point navigation, sea keeping and station keeping. To fulfill its mission, the LCS-based ASW USV performs the Maritime Shield, Protected Passage, and Port Reconnaissance ASW missions to protect Navy surface ship battle groups.