Lockheed Martin will undertake a study for the U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) competition centred around a design for a vessel that can autonomously patrol for extended durations and carry a significant payload. Partnering with project shipbuilder Vigor Works, Lockheed Martin will manage the program, deliver platform integration, systems engineering, combat management, automation and cyber solutions.
The LUSV competition seeks to develop the U.S. Navy’s vision of a future USV capability that will provide extended presence across the globe with reduced risk to sailors, and enable the entire Navy fleet to operate as a distributed, networked and more efficient force.
The Lockheed Martin team’s design uses a proven commercial ship that will be augmented with automation, autonomy and cybersecurity elements. These elements include proven platform-agnostic Sikorsky MATRIX technology, which has previously been used to fly a helicopter from a wireless tablet, and AXIS control technology, already used on more than half of U.S. Navy surface ships to manage engineering and machinery controls. Lockheed Martin will deliver the study within 12 months in advance of the next phase of the competition – the Detailed Design & Construction phase.
Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems, commented: “The Lockheed Martin team brings together nearly 200 years of combined experience in shipbuilding, integration, automation and autonomy. Our team is energized by and focused on delivering the Navy what they’ve asked for – a design for an affordable, low-risk ship capable of bringing the Navy’s Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) vision to life.”
Richard McCreary, Vigor vice president of business development, stated: “We are honored to be part of the Lockheed Martin team and to leverage our extensive fabrication expertise, including previously building 16 USVs of various designs and sizes. We are ready to deliver a concept design that will help the Navy deploy a safe, efficient and affordable LUSV fleet for the future.”