US Navy conducts underwater explosion shock test on UISS

According to information published by the U.S Navy on January 4, 2022, the Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) announced the successful completion of underwater explosion (UNDEX) shock testing on the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS), a component of the Navy’s suite of mine countermeasure technologies.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Underwater explosion shock test (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

The test was conducted by the Aberdeen Test Center and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock with assistance from Textron and NSWC Panama City. The series of shock trials is key for testing the survivability of UISS and its ability to execute its mission in hazardous environments.

Capable of being hosted from littoral combat ships (LCS), operated from shore, or vessels of opportunity, UISS provides acoustic and magnetic minesweeping coupled with the unmanned, semi-autonomous, diesel-powered, aluminum-hulled mine countermeasures unmanned surface vehicle (MCM USV).

The series of successful tests demonstrate the growing maturity of the UISS program. The program completed shipboard Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) onboard USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) in June 2021 and Cyber IOT&E in September 2021, ensuring the program is on schedule to achieve Initial Operating Capability in 2022.

In addition to minesweeping capability, the MCM USV will employ modular payloads to bring additional MCM capabilities to the fleet.

The MCM USV is currently undergoing integration testing of the AQS-20C towed minehunting sonar, which provides detection, identification, classification, and localization of volume and bottom mine-like objects.

The MCM USV is an integral part of the MCM mission package, which will replace the Navy’s aging Avenger-class minesweeping ships and MH-53Es Sea Dragon helicopters.

UISS is the Navy’s first unmanned surface vehicle (USV) program of record, designed for the demanding maritime environment. It provides unmanned mine countermeasure and capabilities using interchangeable payloads and advanced sensors.

Textron Systems is the prime contractor and system integrator for the UISS and MCM USV programs. The company designed CUSV as a multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle, capability of carrying multiple payloads including side-scan sonar, mine neutralization, non-lethal weapons, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors.