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Remote Minehunting System (RMS)

The Remote Minehunting System (RMS) integrates the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV), the AN/AQS-20A sonar, and associated support equipment. RMS is a key component of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasures Mission Package (MCM MP).

The RMMV is an unmanned, autonomous, semi-submersible, high endurance, low-visibility system that will be operated and maintained from LCS. The RMMV is capable of both line-of-sight and over-the-horizon operations. The off-board vehicle has self-contained control, propulsion, power, and navigation features. As many as two RMMVs may be operated from the LCS simultaneously. It is capable of real-time communications of mine reconnaissance sensor data as well as automatic search and recording modes. The host ship will be equipped to conduct data processing, display, and recording, and will communicate tactical mine reconnaissance data to other Naval forces. Fueled for long endurance, the RMMV's diesel marine engine and high-efficiency propulsor will propel the vehicle. The RMMV's coverage search rate can find mines in deep and shallow water with high probability. The RMMV can be pre-programmed to perform autonomously or be manually controlled via a data link.

The RMMV tows the AN/AQS-20A minehunting sonar system for detection, classification, and localization of mine-like contacts and identification of bottom mines. The AN/AQS-20A minehunting sonar is a mine hunting and identification system with acoustic and optic sensors housed in an underwater towed body with a fixed wing and controllable tail surfaces. The sensors are designed to detect, classify and localize bottom, close-tethered, and volume targets. The AN/AQS-20A has four modes of operation:

1. Single Pass Shallow (SPS) Mode - Bottom and moored mine coverage in a single pass
2. Single Pass Deep (SPD) Mode - Moored mine coverage in deep water
3. Volume Mine (VOL) Mode - Volume mine coverage at four times the area search rate
4. Identification (ID SPS) Mode - Bottom and moored mine coverage in a single pass plus optical imaging of bottom mines.

The combination of sonars enables the AN/AQS-20A to detect and classify mine-like objects from the seafloor to the near surface in a single pass. The system also has an identification capability that delivers high-definition images of bottom mines providing the operator with both range and contrast data that combines to form a three-dimensional image during post-mission analysis to aid in mine identification. The AN/AQS-20A modes enable the system to give timely and accurate information on the location and position of mines so they can be quickly neutralized by minesweepers and by the Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS).

Naval mines pose a significant threat to U.S. and allied shipping, particularly in navigation choke points and transit lanes. The RMS is a key component of the LCS Mine Countermeasures Mission Package. The RMMV, as part of the RMS, will satisfy the U.S. Navy's need for an organic (off-board) surface ship mine reconnaissance capability, designed to conduct rapid reconnaissance of bottom and moored mines from the deep-water region to the very shallow water region, and determine the presence of mines and safe routes or operating areas around potential minefields.

The AN/AQS-20A sonar's computer processing power, advanced signal processing, and portability, reduce the amount of time required to search an area, while significantly increasing search-rate agility. One towed body satisfies the requirements of multiple platforms through common hardware, software, and interfaces; common integrated logistics support; and modular operational configurations. The AN/AQS-20A has been extensively tested and operated from the RMMV and is undergoing evaluation/testing for integration into future unmanned surface vehicles. The AN/AQS-20A has more than 3,000 hours testing at sea with more than 600 hours of testing towed behind the RMMV.

Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D) Naval Sea Systems Command Washington, D.C. 20376
General Characteristics, Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle - (RMMV)
Contractor: Lockheed Martin – Riviera Beach, FL.
Date Deployed: Completed Technical Evaluation (TECHEVAL) with the LCS MCM MP in September 2015.
General Characteristics, AN/AQS-20A Minehunting Sonar
Contractor: Raytheon - Portsmouth, RI
Date Deployed: Completed Technical Evaluation (TECHEVAL) with the LCS MCM MP in September 2015. Twenty LRIPs delivered. Competitive production contract awarded February 2014 for up to 27 units across 5 years.
Last Update: 18 October 2015