The US Naval Sea Systems Command has received a risk-reduction decision approval, known as a Milestone A decision, for the large displacement unmanned underwater vehicle (LDUUV) programme.
The new underwater vehicle is being developed by the Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office, which is part of the Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS).
Allowing the programme authority to move into the next phase of development, the latest development will enable the navy to commit resources to mature technology and minimise risks before the production and fielding.
The LDUUV is being designed for intelligence, surveillance and mine countermeasure missions, offering increased endurance, range and payload capabilities.
Based on a modular and open architecture, the new system will enable the navy to incrementally develop new mission sets for the craft.
The navy will be able to us the new vehicle from different platforms, including littoral combat ships, Virginia-class submarines and Ohio-class guided-missile submarines.
In addition, the US Navy recently awarded two contracts to Harris Corporation to support the US Naval Surface Warfare Center's littoral, expeditionary and maritime mine defence programmes.
Under this two five-year multi-award IDIQ contracts, with a combined ceiling value of $70m, Harris would offer hardware, materials, and supplies to support critical fleet readiness and the expansion of science and technology programmes.
Harris also secured an IDIQ contract worth $228m to support the US Navy's maritime mine countermeasures (MCM) efforts.
This contract will see the supply of solutions to support current systems and future technologies in MCM anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and force protection.