NAVSEA to proceed with COBRA II Coastal Mine Countermeasures System

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COBRA Block II is slated for installation on MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the one shown here on the littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) in April 2021. US NAVY / Ens. Alexandra Green

ARLINGTON, Virginia – Naval Sea Systems Command has announced its intention to solicit bids for a contract to design, develop and build a Block II version of the coastal battlefield reconnaissance and analysis system.

The COBRA Block I is a multispectral mine and obstacle detection sensor that is a modular component of the mine warfare mission package for littoral combat ships. It is designed to detect beach mines across the surf area. COBRA is the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology component of the planned assault breach system. In March 2009, the COBRA I block was deemed sufficiently mature to enter initial production at a low rate. The COBRA was tested on an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter in October 2010. Initial operational capability was reached in July 2017. Operational tests were completed in April 2018. Block I was built by Arete Associates.

Block II, scheduled for installation on the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, will add night-time operation capability and full mine detection capability in the surf zone up to 200 feet deep of water in a single pass with a high coverage rate.

The COBRA Block II system, when fully developed, will be a battlefield reconnaissance and analysis system designed to perform tactical aerial reconnaissance in the coastal battlespace for the detection and location of individual objects resembling mines, minefields, mine lines and obstacles in the surf area and beach area; for the detection and location of mining objects on the surface and near the surface in very shallow water; and for the detection and location of mine-like objects on and near the surface, moored or drifting in shallow water through deep water day or night, according to the NAVSEA announcement.

NAVSEA anticipates that the contract award will cover up to three engineering and manufacturing development models and up to five low-rate COBRA Block II initial production units.

NAVSEA expects to issue a Request for Proposals in the second quarter of fiscal 2022.

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