The US Navy has taken delivery of another AN/AQS-20C mine-hunting sonar system from manufacturer Raytheon.

The delivery marks the tenth mine-hunting sonar developed by the company. Following delivery, the system was transferred to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division.

The fully-qualified system is set to be incorporated into the navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasures mission package.

It is now closer to achieving its initial operating capability (IOC).

Raytheon Undersea Warfare Systems business area senior director Wade Knudson said: “AQS-20C is capable of enabling true single-pass, mine-hunting when paired with the Barracuda mine neutraliser.

“Delivery of the 10th towed body brings this critical autonomous technology one step closer to IOC.”

The AN/AQS-20C sonar system, which is a critical technology for the in-stride mine countermeasure mission, completed developmental testing in February 2019.

It will be deployed from the mine countermeasures unmanned surface vehicle (MCM USV) after further integration this year.

Following this, it will be equipped aboard the LCS.

The system encompasses five distinct sonars, including a synthetic aperture sonar designed to provide high-resolution imagery of mines on the seabed.

The system’s advanced acoustic and electro-optic sensing capabilities play a significant role in detecting, classifying, localising and identifying near-bottom moored mines, volume mines, and near-surface mines.

The AQS-20C sonar system can be integrated onto different tow vehicles.

Earlier this month, Raytheon demonstrated a single-sortie mine neutralisation concept as part of the US Navy’s Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2019.

The exercise saw AN/AQS-20C mine-hunting sonar in action.

Raytheon’s AN/AQS-20C mine-hunting sonar in action at the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise.