WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Textron Systems Unmanned Systems began on-water testing for the 4th-generation Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle, a project for the U.S. Navy.
The testing support's the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Influence Sweep System program. Textron Systems received a $33.8 million contract in October 2014 to provide a vessel for the project. The Navy tasked the company with designing, developing and qualifying the system to integrate with littoral combat ships.
On-water testing for the new system follows several build and component trials conducted in November 2016. Textron Systems is expected to move into builders' trials continue validating the platform with the Navy later this year.
"We are excited to begin system level testing of our first UISS system with mine countermeasure capabilities for the U.S. Navy," Textron's Wayne Prender said in a press release. "Unmanned technology has come such a long way, and we are looking forward to beginning to apply our critical technology to protect our Naval warfighters."
Textron's Common Unmanned Surface Vessel is being fitted for maritime mine neutralization, sonar scans and intelligence-gathering operations. The vessel is able to operate for over 20 hours, and carry payloads weighing over 4,000 pounds at a speed of 20 knots.