Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel
Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel

Leidos Awarded US NAVSEA to Design Future Medium Unmanned Undersea Vehicle

Leidos, a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader, was recently selected by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to design and build a medium-size unmanned undersea vehicle. The single award, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract holds an approximate value of $358 million if all options are exercised. Work will be performed primarily in Lynnwood, Washington. The medium unmanned undersea vehicle will support intelligence preparation of the operational environment by providing submarine-based autonomous oceanographic sensing and data collection for the Navy. The MUUV will also provide surface-launched and recovered mine countermeasures. Leidos will work with several partners to deliver this critical technology, including L3Harris Technologies.

“This partnership with the Leidos team provides the Navy with an advanced, agile unmanned undersea vehicle system that leverages our proven Iver technology. The Leidos and L3Harris team successfully recovered AUVs through a submarine torpedo tube and we’re excited to bring this dynamic launch and recovery capability to real-world missions,” said Rosemary Chapdelaine, President, Maritime, L3Harris.

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“Our decades of experience fielding unmanned technology coupled with our familiarity with the ever-changing needs of the fleet, enables us to provide this critical capability to our warfighters at speed and scale. We look forward to building upon our long-standing relationship with the Navy and supporting their critical national security mission,” said Mike Rickels, Leidos Senior Vice President of C4ISR Solutions.

Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel
A Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel and an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 participate in U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21, April 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe)

Last year in April, Leidos handed over a medium-displacement uncrewed surface vehicle (MDUSV), called Seahawk, to the US Navy. Seahawk is a long-range, high-availability autonomous surface vessel with a composite trimaran hull. This medium-displacement unmanned surface vehicle (MDUSV) will enhance capabilities for naval operations. Like Leidos’ MDUSV Sea Hunter, Seahawk is substantially larger than other U.S. Navy USVs and has significantly increased capabilities compared to smaller USVs in terms of range, seakeeping and payload capacity. Seahawk is designed to operate with little human involvement, thus providing a forward-deployed and rapid-response asset in the global maritime surveillance network.

The trimaran’s displacement (fully loaded) is 145 long tons. This includes 14,000 gallons of fuel that can power the twin diesel engines for a substantial length of time. Seahawk’s upgraded design follows an evaluation of over 300 lessons learned from Sea Hunter. These upgrades were based on joint evaluations by Leidos and the Navy and include upgraded electrical systems, a payload mounting system and test operator control station. Seahawk will join SURFDEVRON in San Diego, California. The Office of Naval Research awarded Leidos the cost-plus-fixed fee contract to build Seahawk Vessel, with an approximate value of $35.5 million, in December 2017. Work was principally performed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel
A Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel participates in U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21, April 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe)

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