The U.S. Marine Corps is requesting $21.6 million to acquire MUX sea drones for fiscal year 2020, Marine Corps Times reported Tuesday.
Capt. Christopher Harrison, a spokesman for the service branch, noted that the funding will support technical concept maturation and experimentation efforts for the amphibious ship-launched drones ahead of an operational capability certification in FY26.
Other MUX initiatives covered by the funding include system architecture development and rapid prototyping of major components to serve as a basis for future production initiatives. Harrison added that the MUX can also serve as a cargo resupply vehicle and an airborne escort for other existing platforms.
Lawmakers previously pointed to USMC’s potential lack of capacity to operate larger drones, resulting in the MUX funding being reduced from $25 million. The Marine Corps has also requested for three MQ-9 Reaper drones in 2020 and an additional three for the following year.