INGLESIDE, Texas (NNS) -- The Navy's first Remote Minehunting System (RMS) is undergoing calibration and testing aboard Naval Station Ingleside at the Electromagnetic Roll Facility (EMR).
The RMS was delivered to the Navy on April 11 and the following week, representatives from Naval Sea Systems Command and Lockheed-Martin were in South Texas making preparations for the system to be integrated into fleet assets.
"This system is impressive. I'm looking forward to seeing it operate at sea," said Rear Adm. John Christenson, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command-Corpus Christi Vice Commander.
The AN/WLD-1 RMS uses a semi-submersible, unmanned remote multi-mission vehicle which tows a variable depth sensor (VDS) to detect, localize, identify and classify mines. The 23-feet, 7-ton vehicle provides Sailors with both real-time sensing and stores data for later analysis.
This ability to see mines, night or day, allows a Navy ship to either choose a different course to avoid the mines or to send out another organic capability to neutralize them.
"RMS allows the Navy to keep the man out of the minefield and send a remotely operated vehicle into the danger zone instead," stated Gary Humes, program manager for the Mine Warfare Program Office in Program Executive Office Littoral and Mine Warfare (PEO LMW).
Fueled for long endurance, the remote minehunting vehicle (RMV) is equipped with a 370 hp Cummins diesel marine engine and a high-efficiency propulsor that can drive the vehicle at high speeds. A streamlined snorkel and mast -- the vehicle's only visible feature above the waterline -- draws air into the engine and provides a platform for RF antennas and an obstacle avoidance video camera.
The system provides the fleet with an organic mine warfare capability that resides with a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group rather than as part of a separate dedicated mine countermeasure force.
The RMS was brought to Ingleside because of the EMR's capabilities.
"The EMR is used to calibrate degaussing equipment on board the mine warfare ships homeported here," said Dave Skurow, EMR manager.
Degaussing is the process of reducing a ship's magnetic signature, which is critical for mine warfare, because some mines seek and destroy distortions in the earth's magnetic field. These distortions are caused by ships.
"With our capabilities, we are able to check and calibrate the degaussing of the RMS," Skurow added
Mine warfare vessels are checked and calibrated for magnetic variations to their magnetic signatures at Ingleside's EMR.
"When we've completed this testing," said Richard Mack, electrical engineer with Naval Sea Systems Command in Carderock, Md., "the AN/WLD-1(v)1 will be delivered to USS Bainbridge (DDG 96)."
For more news from Naval Station Ingleside, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/nsi/.