An industry team led by L3Harris Technologies is working toward a December target for completing construction of a prototype medium unmanned surface vehicle (MUSV). The prototype will serve as the baseline design for a cadre of unmanned systems within the Navy’s future “distributed” surface force of unmanned ships and lighter manned combatants.
In March 2021, the Department of the Navy released its comprehensive Unmanned Campaign Framework, which defined broad mission requirements for the Navy and Marine Corps’ unmanned vehicle initiatives. In it, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday writes: “The Navy is expanding and developing a range of unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned undersea vehicles, and unmanned surface vessels . . . as we shift our focus toward smaller platforms that operate in a more dispersed manner.”