Moving towards a hybrid fleet: US Navy’s UISS hits IOC

The unmanned influence sweep system (UISS), a component of the US Navy’s suite of mine countermeasure technologies, has achieved initial operating capability (IOC).

The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) declared UISS IOC on 22 July.

Photo: US Navy

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).

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, according to the navy.

Notably, this is also the first IOC of an unmanned surface platform by the US 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,” Capt. Godfrey “Gus” Weekes, LCS Mission Modules (PMS 420) Program Manager.

PMS 420 is the office that oversees UISS within PEO USC.

To remind, UISS completed shock trials in January this year. The Aberdeen Test Center and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock carried out the test with assistance from Textron and NSWC Panama City. 

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The UISS program completed shipboard initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) onboard USS Cincinnati in June 2021 and Cyber IOT&E in September 2021, ensuring the program is on schedule to achieve initial operating capability in 2022.