Tag Archives: mine-hunting sonar system.

Navy gives LCS’s minesniffer a thumb’s up (finally)

The Navy last week announced the completion of developmental testing for Raytheon’s AN/AQS-20C mine-hunting sonar system at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division.

This thing:

For these things:

PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 27, 2019) The Independence variant littoral combat ships USS Independence (LCS 2), left, USS Manchester (LCS 14), and USS Tulsa (LCS 16) are underway in formation in the eastern Pacific. Littoral combat ships are high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatants designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 27, 2019) The Independence variant littoral combat ships USS Independence (LCS 2), left, USS Manchester (LCS 14), and USS Tulsa (LCS 16) are underway in formation in the eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/Released)

The presser:

The AQS-20C is the next generation of the AN/AQS-20 system designed to be incorporated into the Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasures Mission Package. The system consists of four sonar arrays: two side-looking arrays; a gap-filler sonar array; and a forward-looking sonar array providing simultaneous detection, localization, and classification of bottom mines, close-tethered moored mines, and volume-moored mines.

The system delivers high-definition images of bottom mines, providing the operator with both range and contrast data that combine to form a three-dimensional image during post-mission analysis to aid in mine identification.

Developmental testing verifies that a system’s design meets all technical specifications and that all contract requirements have been met. During testing the Raytheon-developed towed sonar sensor conducted 12 underway missions in various operational modes and at different depths at four separate NSWC PCD test ranges. The missions were conducted aboard the test vessel M/V Patriot.

The AQS-20C will now be integrated with and deployed from the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV), a long-endurance, semi-autonomous, diesel-powered, all-aluminum surface craft that supports the employment of various mine countermeasure payloads. The MCM USV can be launched and recovered by the LCS, from other vessels of opportunity or from shore sites to provide minesweeping, mine-hunting, and mine neutralization capabilities. The MCM USV is currently undergoing developmental testing as a component of the Unmanned Influence Sweep System at the South Florida Test Facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Test results will now undergo scoring and performance assessment leading up to a final developmental testing report that is expected to be completed in the spring. Findings from this report will be used for future performance improvements of the system.

Remote Mine Sweeper Robot for LCS

From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs (http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64430)

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The remote minehunting system (RMS), a critical component of the mine countermeasures mission package for the littoral combat ship class, completed the first phase of reliability testing Nov. 22, at the Lockheed Martin facilities off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla.

The RMS is a combination of the remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV), coupled with the towed AN/AQS-20A mine-hunting sonar system.

The RMS, which will provide an off-board mine reconnaissance capability, successfully completed more than 500 hours of offshore, in-water testing, including line-of-sight and over-the-horizon communications checks and full exercise of vehicle control, mobility, maneuvering, and sonar towing capability. Completed six-weeks early, the tests validated reliability and maintainability improvements made to the baseline vehicle.

“Initial analysis of the data indicates that we have met or surpassed all testing and program objectives and we obtained the required data needed to proceed to the next phase,” said Steve Lose, program manager for the Remote Minehunting System program.

The RMS is designed to conduct rapid reconnaissance of bottom and moored mines from the deep-water region to the very shallow water region. The RMS will aid in the determination of the presence of mines and help identify safe routes or operating areas around potential minefields.

The RMS is a combination of the remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV), coupled with the towed AN/AQS-20A mine-hunting sonar system. The RMMV is an unmanned, autonomous, semi-submersible, high endurance, low-visibility system that will be operated and maintained from the LCS. The vehicle has self-contained control, propulsion, power, and navigation. The AN/AQS-20A sonar system is designed to detect, classify, and localize mine-like contacts and identify bottom mines.

The program will now begin preparing for the next phase of reliability testing, scheduled to commence in third-quarter of fiscal year 2012. RMS will also be an integral part of ongoing LCS mine countermeasures mission package developmental testing scheduled for first-quarter of fiscal year 2012.

PEO LCS, an affiliated Program Executive Office of Naval Sea Systems Command, provides a single Program Executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, beginning with procurement, and ending with fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of LCS and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U.S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.

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For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.