February 13, 2020 – In Breaking News – The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Navy recently tested its longest-serving unmanned vessel as a platform for port security missions in Norfolk, Virginia, the home of its biggest base complex.
The Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), built by the defense conglomerate Textron, is a 40-foot remotely-operated launch with long endurance and range.
CUSV was designed in the 2000s as a component of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasures “mission package.”
It has large towing and payload capacities for minesweeping and mine neutralization systems, and it was designed to be modular and adaptable for a variety of other tasks.
(During Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020, the CUSV was demonstrated during a force protection scenario at Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 12. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy and YouTube. Posted on Feb 12, 2020.)
In early 2018, Textron and the Navy entered an agreement to test anti-surface weapons on the CUSV platform, including target designators, sensors and remote weapons stations – equipment suitable for patrol and force protection missions.
The end product was visible in Norfolk’s Elizabeth River during anti-terrorism exercise Solid Curtain 2020 earlier this month (below).
“It will go out there and be one of the tools as a harbor security boat. It may be able to have longer on-station time, may be able to operate in environments where a manned vehicle cannot . . . without putting itself at undue risk,” said Captain Monty Ashliman, director of operations for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, in comments to local media.
Continue reading… U.S. Navy Tests Unmanned Patrol Boat for Port Security
(Textron Systems’ CUSV system continues to feature the maritime version of our proven, common command-and-control system — a trusted system that has successfully supported unmanned aircraft during more than one million flight hours. Courtesy of Textron Systems and YouTube. Posted on Jan 13, 2020.)
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