The US Navy has selected Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) REMUS 300 uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) for the next generation small UUV programme.

The SUUV programme of record is being facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a part of the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The selection of HII follows the completion of a two-year rapid prototyping effort, which also included a number of assessments by the user and spiral upgrades to enhance the design of REMUS 300.

The next-generation SUUV programme, also known as Lionfish, will replace the Mk18 Mod 1 Swordfish programme, which is based on the REMUS 100 design.

HII president and CEO Chris Kastner said: “This programme demonstrates the value of our investment in autonomous and unmanned systems, and our customer familiarity.

“We are confident that these technologies will both support the navy mission and enhance effectiveness for the all-domain force.”

First phase of the programme will see the company manufacture REMUS 300 UUVs and conduct testing during the next one year.

Developed by HII’s subsidiary Hydroid, the SUUV combines an open architecture into a compact, man-portable design.

With endurance options of up to 30 hours and ability to dive to depths of 305m, the REMUS 300 technology can perform various critical underwater missions.

Primary missions of the vehicle include hydrographic surveys, search and recovery, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, surveillance and reconnaissance among other operations.

HII Mission Technologies division unmanned systems business group president Duane Fotheringham said: “REMUS UUVs have been extending the capabilities of the war fighter since they were first used in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

“We’ve been enhancing, maturing and refining this technology since then, and are pleased the REMUS 300 meets needs for the navy’s next-generation UUV programme.”

In June last year, HII received a contract from Royal New Zealand Navy to provide four REMUS 300 SUUVs.