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US Navy Unmanned Influence Sweep System successfully completes shock testing

The US Navy's (USN's) Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) successfully completed its underwater explosion (UNDEX) shock testing, the Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants confirmed on 4 January.

The series of shock trials is key for testing the survivability of UISS and its ability to execute its mission in hazardous environments, USN officials noted.

The Aberdeen Test Center and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock, with assistance from Textron and NSWC Panama City, conducted the shock tests on UISS, which is a component of the navy's suite of mine countermeasure technologies.

Capable of being hosted from Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), operated from shore, or vessels of opportunity, UISS provides acoustic and magnetic minesweeping coupled with the unmanned, semi-autonomous, diesel-powered, aluminum-hulled mine countermeasures unmanned surface vehicle (MCM USV), USN officials said in a statement.

“The UISS UNDEX test demonstrates the survivability of the MCM USV,” said LCS Mission Modules Program Manager Captain Godfrey Weekes. “This brings us one step closer to delivering the MCM mission package to the fleet.”

“Completion of these tests showcased the capability and resiliency of the MCM USV, and is a critical milestone for the programme,” said Capt Weekes. “The MCM USV is the centrepiece of the MCM mission package, and this test demonstrates the final steps we're taking for MCM mission package [testing] and fielding.”

In addition to minesweeping capability, the MCM USV will employ modular payloads to bring additional MCM capabilities to the fleet. The MCM USV is undergoing integration testing of the AQS-20C towed minehunting sonar, which provides detection, identification, classification, and localisation of volume and bottom mine-like objects. The MCM USV is an integral part of the MCM mission package, which will replace the navy's ageing Avenger-class minesweeping ships and MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters.

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