knifefish

Unmanned Systems

Navy pushes forward on unmanned underwater vehicles program

The Navy has chosen 23 companies for a potential five-year, $794.5 million contract to support the research-and-development of unmanned underwater vehicles.

Awardees will compete for task orders to help the Navy procure materials and services for the development, manufacturing and fabrication of underwater drones, the Defense Department said in its Monday awards digest.

Twenty-eight bids were submitted for the "Unmanned Undersea Vehicles Family of Systems" contract that covers work through July 2023 if all options are exercised.

Unmanned systems are a growing area of importance for the Navy as the branch requested an additional $1 billion in fiscal year 2019 spending to nearly $3.7 billion, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. That would be the largest year-over-year increase in unmanned funding for all the main service branches, AUVSI said.

Companies selected for the UUV FoS contract are:

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Alion Science and Technology
  • American Systems
  • BAE Systems
  • Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
  • Leonardo DRS
  • General Atomics
  • General Dynamics
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Hydroid
  • L3 Technologies
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Moog
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Oceaneering
  • Raytheon
  • Rite Solutions
  • Science Applications International Corp.
  • Southwest Research Institute
  • Systems Engineering Associates
  • Teledyne Brown Engineering
  • United Technologies Corp.
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Contractors have also sought acquisitions and made other investments to pursue growth in the unmanned maritime domain. Last year, L3 Technologies purchased three companies that build unmanned undersea technologies and Lockheed Martin's venture capital arm invested in underwater drone company Ocean Aero.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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