The US Navy has awarded a $34.99m contract to L3Harris for a single Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MUSV) prototype.

L3Harris won the contract following a ‘full and open competitive procurement process’.

The navy can procure up to eight additional MUSVs by exercising the contract options. If availed, the ceiling value of the award will be $294m.

Under the MUSV programme, the navy will receive pier-launched, self-deploying, modular, open architecture surface vessels. They will be designed for autonomous navigation and mission execution.

The unmanned systems will boost the navy’s sensing and distributed situational awareness capabilities.

The first prototype of the MUSV is scheduled to be delivered in early 2023.

NAVSEA Unmanned Maritime Systems (PMS 406) programme manager captain Pete Small said: “The award of MUSV is the culmination of a great dialogue with industry to right-size the requirements for a capable, reliable, and affordable unmanned surface vehicle that will employ a variety of modular payloads.

“Leveraging new, rapid prototyping authorities and mature commercial technology will allow us to quickly deliver a capable prototype to the Surface Development Squadron to conduct experimentation and learning in support of the navy’s plans for a future fleet incorporating unmanned vessels.”

In May this year, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) secured a contract from the US NAVSEA to provide products and services within the Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Family of Systems (FOS).