Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Unmanned Systems has clinched a $23m contract modification for producing and supporting Lionfish small UUVs. 

This development shows the escalating demand for undersea drone technology in naval military applications.

In a strategic move to bolster its position in the evolving field of unmanned undersea technology, HII Unmanned Systems has been awarded a $23m firm-fixed-price modification. This modification, an extension of a previously awarded contract, will enable the company to advance the production, support equipment and ancillary components of the Lionfish small UUVs.

Last month, HII secured a $347m contract from the US Navy to produce nine small UUVs for the Lionfish system programme. The contract could expand to 200 vehicles over the next five years.

The work is due to be primarily conducted in Pocasset, Massachusetts, with a small fraction in Hampton, Virginia, and is expected to conclude by September 2025. The contract draws funding from various sources including 12% from fiscal 2022 procurement (Marine Corps) funds, 52% from fiscal 2023 procurement (Marine Corps) funds, 20% from fiscal 2024 other procurement (Navy) funds, and 16% from fiscal 2024 procurement (Marine Corps) funds.

This move highlights the increasing significance of UUVs in modern military operations. Expanding production capabilities aligns with the industry’s drive towards technological advancements in undersea exploration, surveillance and strategic defence.

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By GlobalData

Naval Sea Systems Command, based in Washington, DC, oversees the contract, which is expected to enhance the capabilities of the United States Navy.

HII reported record third-quarter (Q3) revenue of $2.8bn, marking a 7.2% increase compared with Q3 2022, with new contract awards totalling $5.4bn and a contract value backlog of around $49bn. The company’s Q3 net earnings reached $148m, translating to $3.70 diluted earnings per share and a free cash flow of $293m.