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The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) declared UISS IOC on 22 July. The program completed formal testing and delivered a system with logistics and training material with appropriately trained Fleet personnel to execute minesweeping as part of the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package (MP).
“UISS’s declaration of IOC is a monumental achievement for the Navy’s Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package (MP),” said Capt. Godfrey “Gus” Weekes, LCS Mission Modules (PMS 420) Program Manager. PMS 420 is the office that oversees UISS within PEO USC.
Capable of being operated from littoral combat ships (LCS), shore, or vessels of opportunity (VOO), UISS provides acoustic and magnetic minesweeping coupled with the semi-autonomous, diesel-powered, aluminum-hulled Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV). The MCM USV is an integral part of the MCM mission package and serves as the tow platform for both minesweeping and mine hunting missions.
Notably, this is also the first IOC of an unmanned surface platform by the U.S. Navy, marking an important milestone in the evolution toward a hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned systems. “Over the years, the program has worked tirelessly to mature and field the UISS system that will keep the Navy’s most valuable asset, our sailors, safer by keeping them out of the minefield. With this declaration, the program is inching closer toward system-wide IOC for the MCM MP,” Weekes said.
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