The US Navy has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the design, development, and fabrication of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants’ Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) programme.
The government intends to award a contract to one vendor for fabrication of two prototype vehicles next year.
The US Navy also expects to receive proposals early next year.
Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) programme, which is also called as Snakehead, is a long-endurance, multi-mission UUV that is deployed from submarine large open interfaces and comes with the capability to deploy reconfigurable payloads.
Claimed to be the largest UUV, it is intended for hosting and deployment from submarines. Furthermore, it has been designated as Maritime Accelerated Acquisition.
Full integration of LDUUV will be achieved with Modernised Dry Deck Shelter and Payload Handling System-equipped submarines.
Initially, the vehicles will be designed to support Intelligence Preparation of the Operating Environment (IPOE) missions.
The future vehicle missions may include deployment of various payloads.
In June, NAVSEA hosted a virtual industry day to brief about the LDUUV programme.
During this programme, representatives from over 50 firms participated via teleconference.
Feedback drawn from the industry day was included in a draft RFP that was issued on 29 October. Further industry feedback was considered for the final RFP.