The US Navy is asking defense industry partners for new Large Diameter Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) solutions that could be fielded “as rapidly as possible.”
The service issued a Sources Sought notice last week, indicating that the new underwater vehicle must be suitable for future modifications to support various payloads.
The LDUUV was originally envisioned to be four feet (1.2 meters) in diameter, seven or eight feet (2.1 or 2.4 meters) long, and deployable from a submarine.
However, the new navy requirements state that the potential solutions must not require crewed submarines to serve as host platforms for unmanned operations.
Additionally, the service emphasized that the LDUUV must be commercially available and possess multi-day endurance.
The US Navy has at least one functional LDUUV prototype, tested last year for “end-to-end intelligence preparation.”
The notice explained that interested companies must submit a general vehicle description, which includes range, speed, energy capacity, and maintainability.
It should also feature state-of-the-art navigation, communication, guidance, and control systems.
In addition, the LDUUV should be at a high-technology readiness level and be capable of operating at full ocean depth.
The US Navy clarified that the Sources Sought notice is not a request for proposals, and the government is not obliged to issue a solicitation after receiving all offers.