Home » News & Analysis » Navy to Invest Up to $228 Million to Support Unmanned Mine Countermeasures Vehicles


Navy to Invest Up to $228 Million to Support Unmanned Mine Countermeasures Vehicles

Aerographer’s Mate 2nd Class Robert Carlson, left, and Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class Melvin Lankford, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1, deploy a MK 18 MOD 2 Swordfish to survey the ocean floor during the International Mine Countermeasure Exercise (IMCMEX) in the Gulf of Oman on November 4, 2014. US Navy photo.

Aerographer’s Mate 2nd Class Robert Carlson, left, and Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class Melvin Lankford, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1, deploy a MK 18 MOD 2 Swordfish to survey the ocean floor during the International Mine Countermeasure Exercise (IMCMEX) in the Gulf of Oman on November 4, 2014. US Navy photo.

This post has been updated to clarify the nature of the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts for unmanned maritime systems support. In this case, the minimum value is $0 and the maximum is $228.5 million. Each of the seven companies is allowed to compete for task orders but is not guaranteed to win any, and not all companies are qualified to compete for all task orders. The largest contract awarded — to Exelis, and worth $135.6 million or up to $228.5 million if options are exercised — therefore represents the maximum award possible for the whole program, and would be available to Exelis only if it won all task orders. The other companies’ earning potential is smaller, based on the work the Navy has deemed them qualified to do.

The Navy will spend as much as $228.5 million in the next several years on unmanned surface and subsurface vehicles to conduct mine countermeasures missions.

Seven contractors were awarded three-year contracts, with two one-year options, for a range of engineering work: design, fabrication, installation, test and evaluation, fielding, maintenance, training and more for both hardware and software of existing and future systems, according to a July 6 contract announcement.

Applied Research Associates, Inc., Camber Corporation, Exelis, Inc., Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, Mantech Advanced Systems International, MAR Range Services LLC and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) won these contracts, which will allow them to compete for task orders throughout the next three years or longer if options are exercised. No money was awarded upfront and will instead be paid as the companies win task orders.

“The Unmanned Maritime Systems Support contract is intended to support programs engaged in waterborne and underwater mine countermeasures (MCM), both surface and subsurface,” Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific spokesman Ed Budzyna told USNI News on July 21.
“MCM systems currently planned for deployment include the MK 18 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle system and Mine Hunting Unit Unmanned Surface Vehicle system. The scope of this contract covers current systems as well as any future waterborne and underwater technologies in the following maritime system mission areas: MCM; anti-submarine warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; or force protection.”

The MK18 Mod 2 Kingfish underwater unmanned vehicle first deployed to the Middle East in 2013 for testing, and in 2014 it participated in the International Mine Countermeasure Exercise (IMCMEX).

The Mine Hunting Unit Unmanned Surface Vehicle system was a rapid-acquisition collaboration between the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office (PMS 406), Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport and Northrop Grumman. It combines Northrop Grumman’s AQS-24A Mine Detecting Sensor System with an 11-meter unmanned surface vehicle and was successfully demonstrated in the Arabian Gulf last fall.

Categories: News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is a staff writer for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.

  • USNVO

    If past practice is any indication, they will start raiding the MCM accounts next year. Just look at what happened to the “Organic” MCM systems. The Navy allotted billions in the FYDP that never seemed to materialize in the actual budget.

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