Unmanned surface vessel to be developed for U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON. A U.S. Navy request for proposals calls for a new class of unmanned surface vessels.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

The request seeks developers for a craft of up to 164 feet long, to function as a sensor and communications relay in part of a family of unmanned surface systems under development. The craft would be able to carry a payload equivalent to a 40-foot shipping container, operate on its own for at least 60 days before requiring a return to port, and be capable of refueling at sea.

The Navy plans to award a contract for a single Medium Unmanned Service Vehicle prototype in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a statement from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command said.

According to research, unmanned vessels are particularly suitable for missions including observation and collection of information, mine warfare, military electronic warfare, defense against small boats, testing and training, search and rescue, and the support of other unmanned vehicles.