The Navy has awarded Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., a contract to build four additional mine countermeasures unmanned surface vessels (MCM USV).

The MCM USV is an autonomous vessel capable of supporting minesweeping, mine hunting, and mine neutralization missions.

The new contract brings the total number of these vessels under contract up to seven, with options to build up to 18 more.

Bollinger was first awarded the contract to build the MCM USV program in April 2022. Mines present a significant threat to U.S. naval operations and to U.S. and allied shipping in coastal waters, continental shelf waters, port approaches, and straits. The MCM USV program is key to replacing capabilities currently being handled by soon to be retired MCM-1 class mine countermeasures ships and MH-53E helicopters.