The U.S. Navy Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) reported that 1 of 2 Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessels completed a total of two 4-day autonomous transits, with 181+ hours of International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs)-compliant autonomous operations, and over 3,200 nautical miles. The Overlord program, developed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Strategic Capabilities Office (OSD SCO) in partnership with PEO USC, will play a vital role in informing the Navy’s new classes of unmanned surface vessels (USVs).
The Overlord program, developed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Strategic Capabilities Office in partnership with Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants, will play a vital role informing the Navy’s new classes of unmanned surface vessels. The US. Navy issued a request for proposals on September 5, 2019 for the award of multiple conceptual design contracts for the Large USV in fiscal 2020. A RFP for the development of the Medium USV was issued July 16, 2019.
Phase I converted two existing commercial fast supply vessels into USVs and focused on autonomy system integration; demonstration of navigational autonomy; and hull, mechanical and electrical system reliability upgrades. Phase I concluded in September with a successful capstone demonstration of both Overlord vessels executing interactions compliant with the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). Along with reliability of systems tests, more than 600 hours of autonomy testing was successfully completed during Phase I.
Phase II will be conducted using the same ships from Phase I and will focus on the integration of government-furnished command-and-control systems and payloads and involve more complex and challenging naval experimentation. Phase II will complete in Fiscal Year 2021 at which point the Overlord vessels will transition to the Navy for further experimentation. The second phase of the Ghost Fleet Overlord program commenced with the award of contract modifications to the two industry teams who participated in Phase I, the Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC).