Textron's Unmanned Boat Uses South Korean Weapon to Engage Multiple Sea Targets

Recent U.S. Navy demonstration marked the first instance of a small USV engaging multiple surface targets in a single salvo.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:30 AM, December 1, 2023
  • 996
Textron's Unmanned Boat Uses South Korean Weapon to Engage Multiple Sea Targets
Textron's USV outfitted with LIG Nex1's PONIARD rocket @Textron Systems

The U.S. Navy tested Textron Systems' Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) with a South Korean PONIARD rocket, showcasing enhanced surface warfare capabilities.

In a statement today, Textron Systems said its CUSV participated in a U.S. Navy-sponsored Foreign Comparative Test (FCT) during the summer to demonstrate enhanced capabilities for a surface warfare-related mission set.

The CUSV, primarily designed to support mine countermeasure missions for the U.S. Navy, showcased its adaptability by executing multiple Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) missions against a moving target. The demonstration marked the first instance of a small Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) engaging multiple surface targets in a single salvo.

Textron's CUSV demonstrated the ability to be retrofitted with various non-mine countermeasure payloads. These included options for expeditionary warfare, surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) payloads.

Following the FCT, Textron collaborated again with the U.S. Navy and LIG Nex1 Co., Ltd. in October 2023 for a Fleet FLEX demonstration in Key West, Florida. The live-fire event involved the deployment of PONIARD rockets from the CUSV, resulting in six direct hits and mission kills against all targets. This marked ten consecutive hits with PONIARD rockets from the CUSV, dating back to the FCT earlier in the same year.

The Poniard/K-LOGIR, jointly developed by South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development and LIG Nex1, has an 8 km range and an onboard guidance system. Completed in 2016, the 2.75-inch rocket allows "fire-and-forget" capability. Its search-and-track, as well as fire control systems, can integrate onto vehicles like trucks. LIG Nex1 collaborates with Raytheon for joint marketing, showcasing the system at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition 2021 in August. The launcher is adaptable for use on trucks or boats, and the system is advertised by LIG Nex1 as a defense against boats and sea landings.

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