Raytheon has secured a $35.5m contract from the US Navy to provide the AN/AQS-20A mine hunting sonar systems and equipment.
Using advanced sonar technologies, the system will support Navy's critical mine hunting missions and ensures safe access and passage for military and civilian vessels on the world's oceans and waterways.
The AN/AQS-20A system, which is deployed from the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as the variable depth sonar for the AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System (RMS), is towed undersea to scan the water in front, below and to the sides of the vehicle for anti-shipping mines.
Raytheon integrated defense systems business seapower capability systems vice-president Kevin Peppe said the essential component of LCS, AN/AQS-20A advances the capability of the ship's mine countermeasure arsenal.
"Enhanced to optimise detection - in both range and accuracy, AN/AQS-20A provides the Navy with the advantage they need to safely detect and effectively identify these undersea threats," Peppe said.
With support and contributions from other Raytheon business areas, the majority of the work will be performed at Raytheon's Portsmouth Rhode Island facility.
The AN/AQS-20A, which is the only mine hunting sonar sensor developed, tested and certified for Remote Multi Mission Vehicle (RMMV) deployment, is a critical element of the US Navy's mine countermeasure capability.
The AN/AQS-20A is successfully deployed from LCS, and is operated from the RMMV, according to Raytheon.
The AN/AQS-20A minehunting sonar detects, localises and identifies bottom, close-tethered and volume mines, supporting mine-clearing operations in both deep-ocean and littoral waters while AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS) reacquires and neutralises mines found by the AN/AQS-20A.
AMNS includes helicopter-based control console and a launch and handling system equipped with four unmanned Archerfish neutraliser vehicles, which destroy mines through remote control from the operator in the MH-60S helicopter.
The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $199,692,601.
Image: AN/AQS-20A is a critical element of the US Navy's mine countermeasure capability. Photo: courtesy of Raytheon.