U.S. Navy Continues Tech Maturation Efforts for Large Unmanned Surface Vessel Program

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The U.S. Navy plans to procure its first Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) in fiscal 2023 despite the House’s imposition of funding limits until the service proves the reliability of LUSV subsystems, USNI News reported Monday.

The House Armed Services Committee released segments of its version of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which mandates the Navy to ensure the maturity of LUSV components, command-and-control systems and autonomous functionalities.

Rear Adm. Casey Moton, program executive officer for unmanned and small combatants at the Navy, said at a recent virtual event that the service has begun developing prototypes for LUSV parts such as vertical launching system cells in an effort to increase technical maturity.

He noted that partnerships with allies such as NATO has helped the Navy drive research into unmanned surface and undersea vessels for operations such as anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures.

“We’ve also got a group that’s stood up between us that’s looking at platform integration type aspects, so I think there’s a really huge opportunity there to leverage off of each others’ work and to make sure that our systems are able to operate together," said Moton.

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