Monday, February 26, 2024

U.S. Navy’s unmanned minesweeper ship achieves Initial Operating Capability

Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) announced that the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS), a critical component of the Navy’s suite of mine countermeasure technologies, has achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC). The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) declared UISS IOC on 22 July.

The program completed formal testing and delivered a system with logistics and training material with approximately trained Fleet personnel to execute minesweeping as part of the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package (MP).

Developed by Textron Systems, the UISS is a self-propelled, semi-autonomous surface vessel equipped with the capability to sweep acoustically and magnetically actuated naval mines. The UISS is designed to be deployed, operated, and maintained from a Littoral Combat Ship, adequately equipped vessel of opportunity, or from a shore site.

UISS provides acoustic and magnetic minesweeping coupled with the semi-autonomous, diesel-powered, aluminum-hulled Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV). The MCM USV is an integral part of the MCM mission package and serves as the towing platform for both minesweeping and mine hunting missions. It will operate from a variety of ships to keep sea lanes, fleet operating areas, straits, choke points, and amphibious landing sites clear of mines.

This is also the first IOC of an unmanned surface platform by the U.S. Navy, marking an important milestone in the evolution toward a hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned systems.

“Over the years, the program has worked tirelessly to mature and field the UISS system that will keep the Navy’s most valuable asset, our sailors, safer by keeping them out of the minefield. With this declaration, the program is inching closer toward system-wide IOC for the MCM MP,” said Capt. Godfrey “Gus” Weekes, LCS Mission Modules (PMS 420) Program Manager.