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US Navy's First Unmanned Surface Vessel equipped with FN Herstal Sea DeFNder


During Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020, the Unmanned Surface Vessel was demonstrated during a force protection scenario at Naval Station Norfolk, February 12 2020. This is the first time that these type of vessels are equipped with FN Herstal Sea DeFNder remote weapon station.


Navys First Unmanned Surface Vessel equipped with FN Herstal Sea DeFNder 925 002 US Navy's First Unmanned Surface Vessel equipped with FN Herstal Sea DeFNder (Picture source: U.S. Navy)


The CUSV is currently being used by the Navy in mine/counter-mine missions, according to John Allison, who’s apart of the NAVSEA Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division. “What it would be used for is an anti-terrorism force protection mission to help protect ports and harbors and high-value assets,” Allison explained.

In the future, most U.S. Navy frigates, destroyers, and cruisers will likely embark small boats such as the CUSV, swapping out hardware to perform different missions. CUSV will allow sailors to stay out of harm’s way while also sparing sailors the drudgery of manning a similar boat for hours at a time and in bad weather conditions.

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.

FN Herstal Sea DeFNder:

The Sea deFNder is small caliber stabilized Remote Weapon Station (RWS) or Remotely Controlled Operated Weapon Station especially developed and designed to be used on sea conditions ant that can be mounted on ships or vessels.

This system provides defense capabilities for short and medium ranges with high firing accuracy being a reliable solution against asymmetric threats.

The Sea deFNder RWS Naval Remote Weapon Station can be armed with a 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine gun, or a 12.7mm heavy machine gun.


Navys First Unmanned Surface Vessel equipped with FN Herstal Sea DeFNder 925 003 US Navy's First Unmanned Surface Vessel equipped with FN Herstal Sea DeFNder (Picture source: U.S. Navy)