Textron Systems Unmanned Systems has received a new contract to deliver fourth-generation common unmanned surface vessels (CUSVs) for the US Navy's unmanned influence sweep system (UISS) programme.

The $14.8m contract will see Textron supply two CUSV vehicles that will join the first CUSV, which have been designed for the influence minesweeping mission.

The multi-mission vehicles will be used by the US Navy as part of its comprehensive mine counter-measure unmanned surface vehicle (MCM USV) mission, which includes mine-hunting, potentially mine-neutralisation and minesweeping.

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems Control & Surface Systems vice-president Wayne Prender said: "We are pleased to see the US Navy's request for two additional vessels to support their mine countermeasure mission and are excited to be a part of the growing adoption of unmanned technologies in support of the US Navy's mission to safely secure our waters.

"The inherent modularity that CUSV provides will enable the US Navy to complete both minesweeping and mine-hunting missions from a single craft."

“The inherent modularity that CUSV provides will enable the US Navy to complete both minesweeping and mine-hunting missions from a single craft, demonstrating the CUSV system's multi-mission capabilities and large, configurable payload bay.”

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems is expected to deliver the two additional CUSV systems to the US Navy next year.

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The CUSV is a multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle that is able to carry multiple payloads, including side-scan sonar, mine neutralisation, nonlethal weapons, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors.

The company started on-water testing for the first CUSV as part of the systems level integration and test (I&T) phase in January, which also includes functional testing of the system’s integrated generators, engines, datalinks and on-water manoeuvrability testing.

The CUSV will undergo builders’ trials after completion of the I&T phase and the move into formal testing in order to validate the system's functionality with the US Navy later this year.