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On-water testing began for the fourth-generation Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), supporting the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) program. The Navy intends to use the UISS as a mine countermeasure system, designed for influence sweeping of magnetic and acoustic mines.

The company, Textron Systems, announced that it completed the design, build and component test phases of the UISS program in November 2016.

According to prnewswire.com, the Textron Systems Unmanned Systems fourth-generation CUSV is a multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle with a large, configurable payload bay. Since its first demonstration in 2009, the CUSV has successfully completed several prominent exercises with the U.S. Navy. Today, the variations of the CUSV have amassed more than 2,000 on-water operational hours, and the craft is capable of carrying multiple payloads, including side-scan sonar, mine neutralization, nonlethal weapons, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors.

Following component testing, Textron Systems began the systems level integration and test (I&T) phase, culminating in dockside and on-water testing in Louisiana.

The I&T phase includes functional testing of the system’s integrated generators, engines, datalinks, as well as on-water maneuverability testing. Textron Systems will move into builders’ trials upon completion of I&T and then formal testing to validate system functionality with the U.S. 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,” says Vice President of Control and Surface Systems Wayne Prender. “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 Systems, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., the manufacturer of  the Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft and more, provides services and products to customers from the aerospace and defense sectors, as well as civil and commercial customers including those in law enforcement, security, border patrol and critical infrastructure protection around the globe.