The Pentagon has agreed to allocate an additional $20.7 million in funding to AAI Corp., a unit of Textron Systems, for engineering and technical services to develop more robot stealth boats that probe for underwater mines and can attack enemy forces with its machine gun.
AAI’s stealth boat is badass, and made right here in the USA, at several production facilities on the East Coast. The deal is valued at $20,720,170 and is a modification to a previously awarded contract from 2014 for the Navy’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) and Unmanned Surface Vehicle program.
About 70% of the vessel will be constructed at AAI’s Hunt Valley, Maryland facility, with the remaining 30% at the company’s Slidell, Louisiana plant.
UISS is the Navy’s program for “a rapid wide-area coverage mine clearance capability which are required to neutralize magnetic/acoustic influence mines,” reported Navy Recognition. The vessel also packs firepower where it can remotely engage enemy forces.
The robot vessel is designed to perform mine countermeasures and capabilities by employing mine-hunting and mine-sweeping systems and work alongside Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and other vessels. It is small enough to launch from an LCS or another vessel.
It has high endurance and can conduct up to 20 hours of operation with countermine mine technology payload. For defensive and offensive operations, the vessel houses a machine gun that remotely fires on enemy targets.
The Pentagon awarded the contract to AAI in 2014 for the vessels with a completion date of September 2020, with a total value amount of $122.1 million. The work was pushed out one year to September 2021, with contract value increased to $142.8 to $165.2 million.
It appears to the Navy wants more and more of these robot stealth boats. It’s like Skynet on water…