TEWKSBURY: Raytheon Company has delivered the next-generation AN/AQS-20A Minehunting Sonar and AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization System to the U.S. Navy.
As stated during an AMNS ribbon-cutting ceremony, “Fielding systems as promised is what makes a great industry partner!” said Donna Carson-Jelley, Navy program manager for Minewarfare (PMS 495).
Considered critical components of the Navy’s organic mine countermeasure arsenal, the advanced technologies of these systems have the potential to vastly improve the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of mine countermeasure missions and truly take the sailor out of the minefield.
“With AN/AQS-20A and AMNS, we are delivering a comprehensive, end-to-end solution – detect to neutralize – enabling the Navy to safely and effectively execute its mission without risk to its ships or crews,” said IDS’ Charles “Tom” Bush, vice president of Seapower Capability Systems.
“I am particularly pleased with the progress that the AN/AQS-20A team has made. I am looking forward to an aggressive schedule leading to a successful operational evaluation,” said U.S. Navy Captain Paul Siegrist, program manager for Unmanned Maritime Vehicles (PMS 403). “The advancements of the AN/AQS-20A bring our minehunting capabilities to the next level. The flexibility and adaptability of the system allow us to effectively deploy from both the MH-60S helicopter and also from the Remote Minehunting System, extending our ability to effectively and efficiently ensure the safety of the fleet.”
Both of the low rate initial production models of the AN/AQS-20A Minehunting Sonar and the AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization System will be extensively tested so that when the programs enter full production they will meet all fleet expectations.
Supporting mine-clearing operations in both deep-ocean and littoral waters, AN/AQS-20A detects, localizes and identifies bottom, close-tethered and volume mines, and AMNS re-acquires and neutralizes mines found by AN/AQS-20A.
Both systems have been integrated into the MH-60S and the MH-53E airborne mine countermeasures helicopters. Additionally, the AN/AQS-20A has also been operated from the AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System, an unmanned surface vehicle. AN/AQS-20A and AMNS are essential capabilities planned for integration into the mine countermeasure mission package for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.
The AN/AQS-20A system is towed undersea to scan the water in front and to the sides of the vehicle as well as below for anti-shipping mines. The system uses sonar and electro-optical sensors to provide high-resolution images of mines and mine-like objects as well as high-precision location information.
AMNS is deployed from the MH-60S multimission helicopter to locate and destroy underwater anti-shipping mines previously detected by the AN/AQS-20A mine hunting sonar. The system consists of a helicopter-based control console as well as a launch and handling system equipped with four unmanned Archerfish(TM) neutralizer vehicles that destroy mines via remote control from the operator in the helicopter.
Developmental and operational testing of the AN/AQS-20A and AMNS began in 2002. Under the current contracts, Raytheon will deliver a total of 20 AN/AQS-20A systems by January 2011 and five AMNS by December 2009.
Integrated Defense Systems is Raytheon’s leader in Global Capabilities Integration, providing affordable, integrated solutions to a broad international and domestic customer base, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security.
Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.