Latest Overlord USV for Autonomous Operations Launched

Vanguard, launched from Austal USA's shipyard in Alabama, is the first unmanned surface vessel (USV) for the U.S. Navy purpose-built for autonomous operations from the keel-up By Joe Macey / 15 Jan 2024
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The U.S. Navy’s newest Overlord Unmanned Surface Vessel Vanguard (OUSV3) was recently launched from Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Vanguard is the first USV for the Navy purpose-built for autonomous operations from the keel-up.

Vanguard is being jointly developed by a team led by Austal USA and L3Harris. Once outfitting and testing is completed, Vanguard will autonomously transit to San Diego, joining sister ships, OUSV2 Ranger and OUSV4 Mariner, as part of the Navy’s USV Division 1.

USVDIV 1 is the Surface Navy organization responsible for the experimentation and tactical development of USVs. The unit also operates two additional USVs, Sea Hunter and Seahawk, which were developed separately from the Overlord program.

The Overlord program is managed by the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) and executed by PMS 406. The Overlord program has played a critical role in jumpstarting the Navy’s experimentation with USVs and accelerating Fleet knowledge and experience in using USVs in operations.

The knowledge gained from Overlord plays an important role in the development and refining of requirements for the Navy’s future Large USV program.

“We are excited to see the progress the L3Harris and Austal teams are making on the construction of Vanguard,” said Capt. Scot Searles, Program Manager of the Unmanned Maritime Systems (PMS 406) program office. “Designed and built as a USV from the beginning, Vanguard will bring new, built-in capabilities that our previous OUSVs did not possess.”

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