Textron Systems Advanced Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc.
company, announced today that its Fleet-class Common Unmanned Surface Vessels (CUSV) successfully demonstrated the ability to conduct collaborative unmanned mine-hunting and mine-neutralization operations during the Trident Warrior 2012 U.S. Navy Fleet Experiment, July 9--20, at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The CUSV team executed real-time, mine warfare detect-to-engage scenarios on six separate occasions, during which two CUSVs controlled by one operator from a single control station detected and prosecuted "exercise" mines in a minefield laid by the U.S. Navy.
In these scenarios one CUSV, utilizing the U.S. Navy's tactical decision aid -- called MEDAL -- developed by SAIC, moved into the mine danger area and autonomously deployed an L-3 Klein 5000 V2 Side Scan Sonar to mine hunt the suspected minefield. Mine hunting was successfully conducted during both day and night operations and in challenging sea state conditions. The CUSVs were outfitted with Harris SeaLancetTM RT-1944/U data links, which relayed all sonar and vehicle control information to a shore-based AAI Universal Command & Control Station (UCCS). When a mine-like object was detected and plotted on the UCCS geographical screen, the position information was sent to a second CUSV. The second CUSV then maneuvered into the mine danger area. Once appropriately positioned, it deployed both a tracking transducer and an ATLAS North America SeaFoxTM unmanned vehicle for investigation, identification and simulated mine neutralization.
"During Trident Warrior 2012 our CUSV demonstrated a faster, more efficient, more effective and, most importantly, a much safer way of conducting the difficult task of mine countermeasure operations," said Textron Systems Advanced Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Don Hairston. "The ability to execute the mine warfare detect-to-engage sequence from unmanned vessels reduces risk and lessens the requirement for men in the minefield. Moving forward, this is a real game changer."
Trident Warrior is directed by Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), and was sponsored this year by the U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. 3rd Fleet in conjunction with the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise. Trident Warrior is part of NWDC's Fleet experimentation program, during which participants experiment with maritime initiatives and technologies in an operational environment to improve capabilities available to the fleet.
With the conclusion of Trident Warrior 2012, Textron Systems' CUSV has amassed more than 1,000 total hours of in-water operation. CUSV also took part in Trident Warrior 2011, where it successfully demonstrated sliding autonomy, enabling autonomous and man-in-the-loop vessel operations, and non-lethal weapon common payload command and control.
CUSV is a multi-mission and multi-payload capable Unmanned Surface Vessel featuring commercial off-the-shelf modular open architecture, a reconfigurable payload bay, and high tow force capability. Its maritime command and control system is based upon AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems' combat-proven One System(R) architecture. CUSV users have the freedom to quickly deploy any payload necessary to satisfy mission requirements including towing, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, communications relay, launch and recovery for unmanned aircraft, underwater systems, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
One System is a registered trademark of the U.S. Army.
About Textron Systems Advanced Systems
Textron Systems Advanced Systems brings together cutting-edge technologies and far-reaching innovations to satisfy emerging customer demands for reliable, affordable solutions in the areas of security; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and medical research. Its strategic business Overwatch is a leading provider of intelligence software solutions and robust satellite communications systems for U.S. and international defense, intelligence and law enforcement communities. The Advanced Systems business also continues efforts on light arms technologies and unmanned systems such as the Common Unmanned Surface Vessel, or CUSV, conceived by AAI. Another strategic business, Medical Numerics, provides processing and analysis software for medical imaging research. Textron Systems Advanced Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Advanced Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, MillenWorks, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems.