The U.S. Navy has announced the successful launch and recovery of the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle carrying the Raytheon-developed AN/AQS-20A minehunting sonar system, the most advanced mine warfare sensor to be deployed from multiple search platforms.
The launch and recovery was the first demonstration of the unmanned, remotely-operated RMMV deployed from the USS Independence (LCS 2) while underway. Raytheon provides both the AN/AQS-20A and the AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization System, which are two of the components in the mine countermeasure mission package for the Littoral Combat Ship class. The AN/AQS-20A system uses sonar and electro-optical sensors to scan the water in front and to the sides of the vehicle as well as below for anti-shipping mines and provide high-resolution images of mines and mine-like objects in addition to location information.
“This exercise has proven the capabilities of both the RMMV and AQS-20A, testing both stability and performance in an operational environment,” said Steve Lose, U.S. Navy program manager for Unmanned Maritime Vehicles (PMS 403). “The advancements of the AN/AQS-20A bring our minehunting capabilities to the next level; and with the adaptability of the system for both helicopter and RMMV deployment, we extend our ability to effectively and efficiently ensure the safety of the fleet.”