The US Naval Sea Systems Command has released a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of the medium unmanned surface vehicle (MUSV).
Similarly to the Sea Hunter, MUSV will be a pier-launched, self-deploying modular, open architecture surface vehicle capable of autonomous navigation and mission execution.
MUSV is expected to be capable of performing a range of missions, including mine countermeasures, mining, armed escort, ISR and counter-swarm duties.
The development RFP contains options for additional USVs while a full competitive procurement will take place in fiscal year (FY) 2019.
Accelerating Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) and payload development and warfighting integration will provide an inflection point in delivering a more distributed force in support of the National Defense Strategy. The navy plans to award a contract for a single MUSV prototype in the first quarter of FY20.
The RFP also follows the established of a new squadron that will be responsible for the maintenance, training and manning oversight for medium and large unmanned surface vessels (e.g. Sea Hunter / MDUSV) and Zumwalt-class ships.