The US Navy has awarded a contract to Raytheon to produce AN/AQS-22 airborne low-frequency sonar (ALFS) for the navy’s MH-60R multimission helicopter.

Under the $81.1m contract, Raytheon Integrated Defence Systems (IDS) will manufacture, integrate, test and deliver 23 new ALFS systems and provide miscellaneous weapons replaceable assemblies.

The ALFS supports undersea missions including submarine detection, tracking, localisation, classification, acoustic intercept, underwater communication and environmental data collection.

The US Navy H-60 helicopter programme manager Captain Dean Peters said the ALFS would function in sync with other sensors aboard the helicopter to transmit data to surface combatants.

The system capabilities were recently proved during a US Navy undersea warfare exercise in the Western Pacific Ocean. During the exercise, where the ALFS was deployed as a primary anti-submarine warfare sensor onboard the MH-60R helicopter, the system successfully engaged all submarine targets over the three-day period.

Raytheon will also provide spares for life-cycle support of fleet-deployed systems.