Lockheed Martin is to provide a study for a proven, integrated and capable payload ship, able to patrol for extended durations, as part of the USN’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) competition. Lockheed Martin is partnering with Portland-based Vigor Works, LLC as the team’s shipbuilder. As prime contractor, Lockheed Martin will manage the programme, deliver platform integration, systems engineering, combat management, automation and cyber solutions.
Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin VP and General Manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems, explained that the “[…] team brings together nearly 200 years of combined experience in shipbuilding, integration, automation and autonomy […] Our team is energised 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.”
The design uses a proven commercial ship that will be augmented with automation, autonomy and cybersecurity elements to house a payload. The design leverages Lockheed Martin’s autonomy and automation experience, including the proven platform-agnostic Sikorsky MATRIX technology that is been used to fly a helicopter from a wireless tablet, and AXIS control technology, used on over half the USN’s surface ships to manage engineering and machinery controls.
Under the $7 million contract, Lockheed Martin will deliver the study within 12 months. Richard McCreary, VP Business Development at Vigor, observed that the company will “[…] 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.”