Navy Includes Littoral Battlespace Sensing Unmanned Underwater Vehicle on Unfunded List

In a letter to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative “Buck” McKeon, the Chief of Naval Operations requested $6 million for the Littoral Battlespace Sensing Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LBS-UUV) on the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2015 Unfunded Priorities list.

The unfunded requirements list, sometimes referred to as “UFR,” contains items that did not make the budget submissions of the services and combatant commanders.  Admiral Greenert notes that “while the investments presented here are important, they are not of a higher priority than items in our PR-15 budget submission.”  Based on Hydroid’s REMUS 600, the Navy wants the LBS UUVs for environmental surveys of ocean, coastal, and inshore waters. The list also included $9 million for a related program, the Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance Network (PLUSNet).

Large-Displacement Unmanned Vehicle (LDUUV)

Description
The Large-Displacement UUVs (LDUUVs) will provide the autonomous capability to deploy and manage a variety of sensors and payloads. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is leading efforts to achieve the power and energy density necessary to extend LDUUV endurance and to develop the autonomy algorithms to perform extended, safe operations at sea.

Status
The LDUUV developmental effort is an ONR Innovative Naval Prototype (INP), scheduled for completion in 2017. The Navy is coordinating LDUUV Program of Record (POR) development with the Naval Sea Systems Command developing the LDUUV acquisition plan to achieve an active squadron of vehicles early in the next decade. ONR has submitted Broad Area Announcements (BAAs) requesting industry input into UUV development in the areas of autonomy and endurance technologies to support INP development. The Navy will achieve a Limited Operational Capability (LOC) for LDUUV by 2015, with the establishment of an LDUUV squadron early in the next decade. The LOC will be achieved by transfer of ONR user operational system for Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and program development.

Developers
To be determined.

Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance (PLUS) System

Description
PLUS is an advanced, non-acquisition user operational evaluation system (UOES) to detect and localize submerged targets. This transitions the PLUS system to the fleet. PLUS includes a cluster of netted unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) providing passive detection capability. A subsequent spiral will add UUVs with the Integrated Precision Underwater Mapping Array (iPUMA), providing an active search capability. Funding will allow the transition of a prototype system into the fleet.

Status
PLUS is completing developmental testing under the direction of the Office of Naval Research (ONR). There have been two at-sea tests that demonstrated the required capability and provided information on further refinements prior to fleet delivery. A fleet demonstration is being planned for late-FY 2012/early-FY 2013. The system is scheduled to transition from ONR to OPNAV in FY 2013 as a UOES. Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) are being developed by OPNAV, Naval Sea Systems Command, Commander Fifth Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and the Naval Oceanographic Office.
Developers
To be determined.

Littoral Battlespace Sensing–Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (LBS-UUV)

Description
The Littoral Battlespace Sensing–Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LBS UUV) program of record provides a low-observable, continuous capability to characterize ocean properties that influence sound and light propagation for acoustic and optical weapon and sensor performance predictions within areas of interest. It will deliver buoyancy-driven undersea gliders (LBS-G) and autonomous self-propelled undersea vehicles (LBS-AUV) to enable anti-submarine, mine, expeditionary, and naval special warfare (ASW/MIW/EXW/NSW) planning and execution and persistent intelligence preparation of the environment (IPE). Launched and recovered from T-AGS oceanographic survey vessels, LBS-G and LBS-AUV will expand the survey capability of survey vessels in contested areas while increasing the spatial and temporal fidelity of the data collected to meet fleet and combatant commander (COCOM) requirements.

LBS-UUV is increment 1 of Littoral Battlespace Sensing, Fusion, and Integration (LBSF&I), the Department of the Navy’s principal IPE programmatic construct for meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) data collection, processing, and data/product dissemination. LBS UUV is a key component of battlespace awareness through 2020 and beyond. LBSF&I is an integrated end-to-end system-of-systems capable of measuring a large variety of environmental parameters from the sea floor to the top of the atmosphere. LBSF&I will be capable of processing, exploiting, and assuring the quality of these data. The relevant information collected from this system is integrated at the Glider Operations Center into naval C4ISR systems as part of the Global Information Grid Enterprise Services (GIG-ES)/FORCENet infrastructure.

Status
LBS-G reached a favorable Full Rate Production decision in May 2011 and has commenced production of 35 gliders to be delivered by the end of FY 2012, with a total of 150 gliders to be delivered to the Naval Oceanographic Office by FY 2015.

LBS-AUV passed critical design review in March 2011 and has commenced production of two prototype systems. Milestone C and Low Rate Initial Production decision are anticipated in late FY 2012, with production and delivery of 12 AUVs anticipated between FY 2013 and FY 2017.

Developers
Teledyne Brown Engineering Huntsville, Alabama
Teledyne Webb Research East Falmouth, Massachusetts
Hydroid, Inc. Pocasset, Massachusetts

 External link: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/policy/seapower/npg12/top-npg12.pdf

Source: AUVAC

Remote Environmental Monitoring Unit System (REMUS)

The REMUS Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (AUV) was first developed in the late 1990s for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute by Hydroid, a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime. The man-portable class 36 kg REMUS 100 AUV is used by the U.S. Navy for shallow water mine countermeasures (MCM) and hydrographic reconaissance. The Japanese Defense Ministry operates four of the REMUS 600 meter variants and one REMUS 100 for seafloor mapping and MCM.

Three variants of the REMUS are in service in the U.S. Navy:

MK 18 Mod 1 Swordfish UUV –

Based on the REMUS 100, the Swordfish is designed to Search, Classify, and Map (SCM) the Very Shallow Water (VSW) Region (10‐40 ft). The Navy has a total of 24 Swordfish vehicles: EOD Mobile Unit 1 San Diego, CA : 4 Systems (12 Block A Vehicles), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (MDSU‐2), Norfolk, VA: 1 System (3 Block A Vehicles), Naval Oceanographic and Mine Warfare Command (NOMWC), Stennis, MS: 3 Systems (9 Block B vehicles)

MK 18 Mod 2 Kingfish UUV –

 

The Kingfish is based on the REMUS 600 and has increased area coverage rate (ACR), increased endurance, and will serve as a platform for advanced sensors. The Kingfish Small Synthetic Aperture Sonar Module (SSAM) configuration provides wider swath, higher resolution imagery, and buried target detection.

The U.S. Navy currently operates Kingfish with contractors, but the systems will transition to military operation by September 2015.

Littoral Battlespace Sensing (LBS UUV) – 

Also based on the REMUS 600, U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego has ordered three LBS UUVs for environmental surveys of ocean, coastal, and inshore waters.

The Remus 600’s 5.2-kilowatt-hour rechargeable lithium ion battery enables the UUV to operate for up to 70 hours on a charge at speeds of 5 knots to a depth of 1,970 feet.

Source: Naval Drones

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