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UK reveals USSV requirement for covert surface and sub-surface delivery

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for information (RFI) supporting the potential acquisition of a clandestine multi-payload, low-signature, long-endurance uncrewed surface and subsurface vessel (USSV).

Released on 10 September by the Future Capability Group with the MoD's Defence Equipment and Support organisation, the RFI calls for a notional USSV capability intended to deliver covert capability both on the surface and sub-surface in support of Royal Marines' Future Commando Force operations.

According to the RFI, the USSV is “to have a low visual signature when on the surface and be completely autonomous whilst integrating within the Naval Strike Network”. It adds, “The vessel will be highly flexible, capable of conducting multiple mission types including the deployment of sensors and effectors and strike capabilities from both surface and sub-surface [and] will be capable of supporting long endurance missions with a loiter capability and be self-deployable at high speed, extended range and exhibit high manoeuvrability.”

The platform is required to be easy to support, maintain and upgrade, whilst having interoperability for launch and recovery from the sea. It should also be capable of being transported in a 40 ft ISO container, according to the RFI. 

The closing date for responses is 9 October.

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