August 23, 2021 – The Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) has completed the ship-based Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) program onboard the littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Manchester (LCS 14) off of the California coast.
The ship-based IOT&E, conducted in May and June, included end-to-end minesweeping missions versus Navy Instrumented Threat Targets (NAVITTARs) and demonstrated UISS supportability and integration with the LCS seaframe. The IOT&E team conducted pierside and underway launch and recovery, maintainability demonstrations, and end-to-end mission execution in support of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and delivery of capability to the Fleet.
Designed for the LCS as part of the mine countermeasures mission package, the UISS consists of a mine countermeasures unmanned surface vehicle (MCM USV) and a towed minesweeping payload for influence sweeping of magnetic, acoustic, and magnetic/acoustic combination mines. UISS can also be launched from vessels of opportunity or from shore.
“Completion of this operational test event achieves a major milestone for the UISS Program of Record, and demonstrates continued progress to fielding the full capability of the MCM Mission Package aboard LCS,” said Capt. Godfrey “Gus” Weekes, LCS Mission Modules Program Manager (PMS420). “The test event demonstrated for the first time both the capability and sustainability of a minesweeping capability using an unmanned system from an LCS in an operationally realistic environment. I want to highlight the adaptability and dedication of the test teams across many organizations in executing these critical tests despite the challenges imposed by COVID-19.”
LCS MCM sailors performed all operations during the UISS IOT&E events, including shore- and ship-based launch and retrieval, command and control, system maintenance, mission planning and post-mission analysis. Pending data analysis and concurrence of operational effectiveness and suitability, the next phase will be approval by PMS420 for UISS to proceed to IOC.