Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

US Navy awards up to $122.9 million contract to build unmanned mine hunters

The unmanned surface vessels Seahawk, front, and Sea Hunter launch for the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem 21 (UxS IBP 21), April 20, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley)

The Navy has awarded Lockport-based Bollinger Shipyards a contract that could be worth $122.9 million to engineer and build unmanned ships that will hunt and destroy mines.

The contract initially calls for three Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Surface Vessels, with an option to build up to 30 ships. Bollinger will partner with Huntington Ingalls Industries Unmanned Systems and Raytheon Technologies to build the ships.

The contract for the first three ships is $13.7 million.

Ben Bordelon, president and CEO of Bollinger, said in a statement the company was proud to build the state-of-the-art vessels, which will support the Navy by searching and sweeping mines. Underwater mines are a threat to naval vessels and shippers.

The work will support 100 jobs at the shipyard. The date for delivery of the first ship is still to be determined. If the Navy exercises its options to build all 30 ships, the work will go on through 2027.

The autonomous vessels will replace the Navy’s current minesweeping program, which consists of mine countermeasure ships and helicopters.

The Navy initially awarded Bollinger the contract for the minesweepers in April, but Textron Systems protested the win through the Government Accountability Office. Textron had worked with the military for years to develop the unmanned surface vehicles, according to Breaking Defense. The GAO denied the challenge last week.


(c) 2022 The Advocate

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.