The US Navy’s Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) has declared initial operation capability (IOC) for the uncrewed influence sweep system (UISS).

The announcement was made by the Programme Executive Office (PEO) Uncrewed and Small Combatants (USC).

It is the first time that the US Navy declared an IOC for an uncrewed surface platform.

UISS is a key component of the US Navy’s suite of mine countermeasure (MCM) technologies and can be operated from littoral combat ships (LCS), as well as from shore or vessels of opportunity (VOO).

UUS Navy LCS Mission Modules (PMS 420) programme manager captain Godfrey Weekes said: “UISS’s declaration of IOC is a monumental achievement for the navy’s MCM Mission Package (MP).”

Managed by PMS 420 within PEO USC, the UISS programme has completed formal testing of the vessel.

A system with logistics and training material comprising of well-trained fleet personnel has also been delivered as part of this programme.

The personnel will help in the execution of minesweeping under the Mine Countermeasures MCM MP.

Weekes added: “Over the years, the programme has worked tirelessly to mature and field UISS that will keep Navy’s most valuable asset, our sailors, safer by keeping them out of minefield.

“With this declaration, the programme is inching closer toward system-wide IOC for MCM MP.”

The US Navy’s UISS is designed to provide acoustic and magnetic minesweeping capabilities, together with diesel-powered, semi-autonomous, mine countermeasures uncrewed surface vehicle (MCM USV).

An integral part of MCM mission package, the aluminum-hulled MCM USV serves as the tow platform for both minesweeping and mine hunting missions.

Earlier in January, the UISS also completed the underwater explosion (UNDEX) shock testing.