Huntington Ingalls Industries will build nine small unmanned undersea vehicles for the US Navy’s Lionfish System program.
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The Lionfish System, based on HII’s REMUS 300, will be built by HII’s mission technologies division as a highly portable, two-person small unmanned undersea vehicle (SUUV) with an open architecture design and versatile payload options, according to a public statement made by the company on 11 October.
The contract has additional growth available for the construction of 200 vehicles over five years at a value of $347 million. Administered by Naval Sea Systems Command, the contract provides delivery and support of the Navy’s next generation SUUVs, as well as afloat and auxiliary support equipment and engineering services.
The vehicles, incorporating autonomous and unmanned technology, are expected to conduct critical undersea missions for the Navy.
“We are pleased with the Navy’s decision to support a combat-proven technology, essential to the Navy’s undersea mission,” according to Duane Fotheringham, Mission Technologies’ unmanned systems business group president.
“Our team is committed to delivering fully capable vehicles that will enhance the effectiveness of the warfighter against emerging threats.”
REMUS 300 was chosen as the Navy’s official program of record for the next-generation SUUV in 2022. The Lionfish System was developed with the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit and the US Navy, alongside incorporated feedback from multiple user groups.
“Lionfish provides increased capability and interoperability that aligns with the Navy’s undersea priorities, and we look forward to delivering next-generation vehicles that can readily adapt to and support a variety of mission needs,” according to Andy Green, HII executive vice-president and mission technologies president.
Earlier this month, on 7 October, the US Navy commissioned the first Flight III Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyer, USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) in Florida, after it was built by Ingalls. The shipbuilder has so far delivered 35 destroyers to the US Navy, with four currently under construction.
Arleigh Burke Class destroyers provide significant warfighting capabilities to the US Navy’s surface fleet, including multi-threat air, surface, and sub-surface engagement.
DDG 125 is the first ship named for Captain Jack H Lucas, who, at the age of 14, forged his mother’s signature to join the US Marine Corps Reserves during World War II. During fighting in the Pacific, he became the youngest Marine and the youngest service member in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor.