April 4, 2022 (Mountain View, CA)—The U.S. Navy PEO Unmanned and Small Combatants is moving forward with production of the first iteration of the Lionfish program’s small unmanned underwater vehicle (UUVs). The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), partnering with PMS 408 and Naval Information Warfare Center-Pacific (NIWC-PAC), completed this prototype to replace the Navy’s Mk 18, Mod 1 UUV with more capable, and modular UUV systems for mine countermeasure (MCM) operations providing the Fleet with greatly improved capabilities to keep sealanes free and clear of the threat of subsea mines.
Using DIU’s Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO), the Navy’s PMS-408 was able to concurrently evaluate multiple UUV solutions with developed hardware and software, open systems architecture, and future-proof modularity. In two years, DIU, PMS-408 and NIWC-PAC prototyped and tested the Huntington Ingalls Remus 300 and L3Harris Iver4-900 UUVs. The program used a fast and iterative process to successfully bring forth two highly capable UUV solutions.
Compared to similar UUV programs, the DIU-PMS 408 effort leveraging the CSO cut the delivery timeline in half. This effort has provided the Navy with UUVs that can detect and clear mines with more than 2 times the endurance of the current models, providing a new capability for mine detection, allowing fleets to operate freely and transport sailors safely.
“DIU is PMS-408’s key partner to evaluate emerging technology and rapidly transition next-generation capability inside the acquisition system and budget cycle,” said CAPT (sel) Jon Haase of PMS 408.
The Lionfish UUV program represents the fifth prototype DIU and PMS 408 have worked together on to produce game-changing solutions for sailors. Previous efforts include Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and bolt-on software kits that enable semi-autonomous operation for ordnance disposal.
In a conflict, underwater mines threaten fleets and block strategic ports and sea lanes that sustain the $1.5 trillion commercial shipping industry. The Lionfish program is providing the Navy and the Marine Corps with the next generation capability to counter mine-threats, delivering new autonomy, exquisite sensors, and increased endurance at less cost.