Fleet-class unmanned surface vessel
A Fleet class vessel in 2012
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Class & type:||Fleet|
|Type:||unmanned surface vehicle|
|Displacement:||7.7 tonnes (7.6 long tons; 8.5 short tons)|
|Length:||39 ft (12 m)|
|Beam:||11.2 ft (3.4 m)|
|Speed:||35 kn (65 km/h)|
The Fleet class USV is an Unmanned Surface Vessel designed for the United States Navy to be deployed from Freedom and Independence-class littoral combat ships and intended to conduct mine and anti-submarine warfare missions. As of 2012[update] four ships of the class have been built; the first was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2008.
Design and development
Developed by AAI Corporation, General Dynamics Robotic Systems, and Maritime Applied Physics the Fleet class Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) is a small, semi-planing hull craft that is intended to operate in an optionally manned configuration to conduct anti-submarine warfare, special warfare, mine warfare and electronic warfare missions from littoral combat ships of the Freedom and Independence classes, being constructed using modular design to allow for rapid changes of mission through replacement of modules. 39 feet (12 m) in length and displacing 7.7 tons, the Fleet class is capable of speeds of over 35 knots (65 km/h) and can carry up to 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of equipment. The Fleet class is designed to operate for up to 48 hours without interruption.
Designed to match the weight and handling limits of a conventional rigid-hulled inflatable boat, the hull of the Fleet class USV is designed for good seakeeping in most sea states, and the vessels are equipped with advanced controls for autonomous navigation and operation. They are also designed to be converted to manned operation through the replacement of mission modules within a 24 hour period.
The vessels of the Fleet class are the first unmanned vessels to be numbered as ships of the United States Navy.
The first Fleet class USV, 11MUC0601, was delivered to the United States Navy's Naval Undersea Warfare Center in May 2008; the second vessel of the class entered service the following month. The vessels of the class are currently undergoing testing by the navy; if successful, Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is scheduled for around 2015.
- Jane's Navy International: Volume 113. London: Jane's Information Group. 2008. p. 60.
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- "The Navy Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Master Plan". United States Navy. 23 July 2007. p. 62. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "The Navy Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Master Plan". United States Navy. 23 July 2007. p. 84. Retrieved 2012-04-20.