The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) recently released a notification of its Uncrewed Surface and Subsurface Vessel (USSV) requirements for the Royal Marines.
The MoD explained that the “multi-payload, low-signature, long-endurance” vessel will add to the marines’ surface and subsurface covert capability. It added that the vessel should have a “low visual signature” on the surface and be “completely autonomous” while operating within the “Naval Strike Network.”
According to USNI News, a naval strike network comprises a mix of unmanned vessels, including Uncrewed Surface vessels (USVs) and Uncrewed Underwater Vehicles (UUVs).
Reconnaissance and Combat Tasks
Other essential features include flexibility and the capacity to perform reconnaissance and combat.
The notification further specifies that the vessel’s high speed and maneuverability will support long endurance missions and that the vessel’s interoperability with other vessels will allow the USSV to be launched and recovered at sea.
Future Commando Force
The MoD didn’t specify the vessel’s physical dimensions barring the fact that it should fit into a 40ft (12 meter) long shipping container for transport.
The USSV looks set to be part of the marines’ wider transformation from the amphibious arm of the Royal Navy into the Future Commando Force (FCF), involving special operations, warfighting, combat operations, and humanitarian assistance. According to Forces News, the force’s tasks include supporting UK Carrier Strike Groups and “refined” NATO contributions.