The Navy successfully concluded the second and final phase of reliability testing of the littoral combat ship (LCS) remote minehunting system (RMS) off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., June 14, enabling the service to progress toward developmental testing.
The remote minehunting system, consisting of a semi-submersible remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV) operating with the AN/AQS-20A variable depth mine-hunting sonar, was designed to detect, classify, identify and locate bottom and moored mines in shallow and deep water.
The RMS will provide the Navy the capability to keep ships and sailors out of the minefield, and will be deployed from the littoral combat ship (LCS) as part of the ship's mine countermeasures mission package.
The system completed more than 850 hours of testing during 47 missions over a four-month period.
"I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this event," said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, program executive officer for littoral combat ships. "It gives us great confidence as we prepare for the next phases of RMS and LCS mine countermeasures mission package testing."
The tests, conducted at the Lockheed Martin facilities at Riviera Beach, Fla., included participation by sailors from the Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Mine Countermeasures Detachment who assisted with both mission operations and vehicle maintenance, and engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, who supported all aspects of the testing. The tests validated reliability improvements made to the RMMV design in this increment and demonstrated the required reliability necessary to meet program requirements.
"Initial analysis of the data indicates that we have met or exceeded the reliability growth program objectives and are ready to proceed to the developmental test phase, which is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013," said Steve Lose, remote minehunting system program manager.
The RMMV is a high-endurance, semi-autonomous, low-observable, unmanned, diesel-powered vehicle, operated and maintained from the LCS. The AN/AQS-20A incorporates five separate sonar/sensors in a compact, lightweight, and hydro-dynamically stable towed body. The AN/AQS-20A localizes mine-like objects and provides the operator with a visual image and a contact data list. All mission data are recorded by the LCS for post-mission analysis.
Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is affiliated with Naval Sea Systems Command and provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, beginning with procurement and ending with fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of LCS and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U. S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.