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US Navy releases request for proposals for Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle MUSV.

| 2019

The U.S. Navy released a request for proposals (RFP) to industry for the development of the Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MUSV), July 16. The U.S. Navy wants to develop and procure three new types of unmanned vehicles (UVs) in FY2020 and beyond—Large Unmanned Surface Vehicles (LUSVs), Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicles (MUSVs), and Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs).

US Navy releases request for proposals for Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle MUSV 925 001 Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV) prototype Sea Hunter pulls into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Oct. 31, 2018. (Picture source  US Navy)

The MUSV will be a pier-launched, self-deploying modular, open architecture surface vehicle capable of autonomous navigation and mission execution. The development of RFP contains options for additional USVs. A full and open competitive procurement will take place in fiscal year (FY) 2019.

Accelerating Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) and payload development and warfighting integration will provide an inflection point in delivering a more distributed force in support of the National Defense Strategy. The Navy plans to award a contract for a single MUSV prototype in the first quarter of FY20.

The Navy released a draft MUSV performance specification Feb. 5 and conducted an MUSV Industry Day Feb. 12-13. Through months of dialogue with industry, the Navy has incorporated feedback that informed the RFP released today.

A draft MUSV Performance Specification was released on February 5,2019, and was based on both American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) commercial specifications and additional military specifications related to autonomy, reliability and government-furnished equipment (GFE) payload integration requirements.

The MUSV program began in FY2019. The Navy plans to award a contract for the first MUSV in FY2019 and wants to award a contract for the second MUSV in FY2023. The Navy wants MUSVs, like LUSVs, to be low-cost, high-endurance, reconfigurable ships that can accommodate various payloads. Initial payloads for MUSVs are to be intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) payloads and electronic warfare (EW) systems. The Navy defines MUSVs as having a length of between 12 meters (about 39 feet) and 50 meters (about 164 feet). The Navy wants to pursue the MUSV program as a rapid prototyping effort under what is known as Section 804 acquisition authority.

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