NEWPORT, R.I. —
The Navy's Unmanned Maritime Systems
program office and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport
recently hosted an industry information day as the government develops its
acquisition strategy for the Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle
The Navy is looking to large and small businesses,
including small business innovative research, to meet its program needs.
"This specialized industry day further highlights
efforts of NAVSEA and the program executive offices to engage businesses of all
kinds, especially small businesses who can offer innovative solutions across
our portfolios," said Bill Deligne, NAVSEA executive director. "We
awarded almost $2.5 billion in contracts to small businesses in Fiscal Year
2016 and we continue to see the return on investment as they support our
programs' mission critical work."
Intended to inform the industrial base on the
restructured LDUUV program and potential business opportunities and roles, the
September forum attracted 265 industry participants representing 138 large and
small companies. The Navy has
designated NUWC Division Newport as the Government Lead Systems Integrator
(GLSI) for LDUUV.
NUWC Division Newport's Christopher Egan, technical
project manager, provided a description of opportunities for industry to
participate in LDUUV prototyping and UUV prototyping efforts while Capt. Bill
Guarini, program manager of Unmanned Maritime Systems, gave an update on the
"Ensuring our industry partners are aware of the
acquisition opportunities in the LDUUV program will ultimately help us deliver
the best products and services to support the warfighter," Guarini said.
The LDUUV program comprises a new class of
large-displacement unmanned undersea vehicles intended to provide increased
endurance, range and payload capabilities. Capable of being stowed, launched
and recovered by multiple host platforms, including littoral combat ships,
Virginia-class submarines and Ohio-class guided-missile submarines, the system
is being designed for intelligence, surveillance and mine countermeasure
missions. The vehicles are based on a modular, open architecture that will
allow the Navy to incrementally develop new mission sets for the craft.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned
Systems, Frank Kelly provided a briefing on the Navy's plan for unmanned
undersea systems. Rear Adm. Robert Girrier, director for Unmanned Warfare
Systems, re-affirmed the importance of UUVs as a part of the Navy's undersea dominance
vision. Together they offered insight into UUV goals, undersea strategy and
warfighting contributions for unmanned warfare systems.
In May 2016, NUWC Division Newport released a request for
information seeking information on industry capabilities and systems
engineering trade space to inform the Navy's LDUUV plan. Earlier in the year,
the Navy had announced plans to shift the LDUUV program acquisition strategy to
include prototyping and to use NUWC Division Newport as GLSI. The change is
part of a broader Navy effort to insert innovation and agility into the
acquisition stream via prototyping and rapid capability development.
The Unmanned Maritime Systems program is part of Program
Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships. The program office is responsible
for the development, acquisition, delivery and maintenance of effective
unmanned maritime systems including both unmanned underwater and surface
NUWC Division Newport is one of ten NAVSEA Warfare Center
sites across the United States. Newport
provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, analysis, and
assessment and fleet support capabilities for submarines, autonomous underwater
systems, and offensive and defensive undersea weapon systems, and stewards
existing and emerging technologies in support of undersea warfare.
Information for the event was posted to www.fbo.gov under
special notice number N66604-16-S-8888.