Leidos to build Unmanned Underwater Vehicle for the US Navy

According to information published by Leidos on August 22, 2022, the firm was recently selected by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to design and build a medium-size unmanned undersea vehicle.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 General Dynamics Knifefish Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (Picture source: General Dynamics)

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.

Example of a US-made Unmanned Undersea Vehicle

Knifefish is a medium-class Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) designed for deployment off the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The Knifefish UUV provides the mine warfare commander with enhanced mine-hunting capability by detecting, classifying, and identifying both buried mines and mines in high clutter environments.

Its mission is to reduce the risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. Knifefish also gathers environmental data to provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems.