The U.S. Navy has awarded Bollinger Shipyards a contract to engineer and build the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessel (MCM USV) program. The initial contract is for three (3) vessels with options up to a total of 30 vessels.
Bollinger, a privately-held designer and builder of military and commercial vessels, is partnering with HII Unmanned Systems and Raytheon Technologies on the program. HII Unmanned Systems has over 20 years of experience developing and delivering intelligent, autonomous behaviors in undersea, surface and land environments. Raytheon Technologies brings decades of shipboard integration expertise and experience to the MCM USV program as the current Mission Systems Integrator and Cybersecurity provider.
MCM USV is an autonomous vessel capable of supporting minesweeping and mine hunting missions. Naval mines present a significant threat to U.S. naval operations and to U.S. and allied shipping in coastal waters, continental shelf waters, port approaches, and straits. The MCM USV program is key to replacing capabilities currently being undertaken by soon-to-be-retired MCM-1 class Mine Countermeasures Ships and MH-53E helicopters.
“HII is excited to partner with Bollinger on this critical defense program,” said Duane Fotheringham, president of the Unmanned Systems business group at HII’s Mission Technologies division. “Our Odyssey suite of advanced autonomy solutions ties together vessel control, payload management, and navigation with advanced AI/ML algorithms to support complex and dangerous missions such as mine countermeasures, reducing risk to the warfighter with unmanned technology.”
Speaking of the collaboration, Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards said, “Bollinger is honored to be entrusted by the U.S. Navy to engineer and build the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle program. Bollinger’s skilled workforce is second to none and will work to build and deliver this advanced capability to our Nation’s fleet using the highest levels of craftsmanship and quality that we have come to be known for.”
“We are proud to partner with HII Unmanned Systems and Raytheon Technologies to build a state-of-the-art, multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle capable of both hunting and sweeping naval mines to support and protect the men and women of the U.S. Navy and our allies around the world.”
The project is being built in Lockport, LA and is supporting over 100 jobs.