The Royal Marine Commando Force is looking to industry for the development of a “multi-payload, low-signature, long-endurance uncrewed surface and subsurface vessel”.
According to a pre-procurement notice issued by the Ministry of Defence:
“The Royal Marine Commando Force requires the development of a multi-payload, low-signature, long-endurance uncrewed surface and subsurface vessel (USSV). This will be able to deliver covert capability both on the surface and sub-surface. It is to have a low visual signature when on the surface and be completely autonomous whilst integrating within the Naval Strike Network.”
The notice goes on to explain that the vessel should be capable of tasks from deploying sensors to conducting strike missions.
The vessel will be highly flexible, capable of conducting multiple mission types including the deployment of sensors and effectors and strike capabilities from both surface and sub-surface. Interrogation of the operating area by this vessel will support Royal Marine Commando Forces in future operations. It will be capable of supporting long endurance missions with a loiter capability and be self-deployable at high speed, extended range and exhibit high manoeuvrability.
The platform will be easy to support, maintain and upgrade whilst having complete interoperability to be launched and recovered from the sea and current/future shipping. The platform design needs to have demonstrated a degree of maturity through use of de-risked and demonstrated technology.”
The notice also specifies that the vessel must be capable of being transported in a 40ft ISO container.
Back in 2020, the MoD acquired a MANTAS T12 USV (pictured above) for further study. You can read more about that here.