The US Navy wrapped up the MK 18 Mod 2 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) program last week, marking the end of production.
Hydroid, Inc, now owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), provided the initial production lot in 2012. Since then, more than 90 MK 18 UUVs were delivered to the service, forming a critical component of the Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Company’s suite of mission capabilities.
“The Department’s long-standing partnership with HII and their subcontractors demonstrates how mature technologies coupled with innovative acquisition approaches can speed the delivery of critical mission-enabling capabilities to our warfighting forces,” Capt. Jon Haase said.
With the program’s completion, Leidos’ Viperfish Medium Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (MUUV) will replace the MK 18 mine countermeasures vehicle with upgraded capabilities.
The Viperfish will enable the navy’s explosive ordnance disposal units “to conduct longer duration missions, cover more ocean area and do so faster,” Rear Adm. Casey Moton told USNI News in November.
Leidos claimed that the MUUV will be “one of the most densely packed and technologically advanced underwater vehicles ever built,” performing oceanographic sensing, data collection, and mine countermeasures.