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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 diesel powered, semi-submersible RMMV equipped with an AN/AQS-20 towed Variable Depth Sonar (VDS), data links and low-light video cameras mounted on the exposed snorkel mast. The vehicle is launched, remotely operated and recovered by the designated Mine Countermeasures Mission Package (MCM MP) Detachment and Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) core crew.

RMMV is deployed and recovered from LCS via the Twin Boom Extensible Crane (TBEC) on the even-numbered variant ships or the Launch Handling and Recovery System (LH&RS) on the odd-numbered variant ships. The RMMV's coverage search rate can find mines in deep and shallow water with high probability. The vehicle can be pre-programmed to perform autonomously or be manually controlled via a data link. VDS provides full water column, single-pass coverage, acoustic detection and classification of bottom and moored mines and bottom contact reacquisition (RC) and imaging for identification (non-mine or mine).
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-20 is a mine detection and identification system designed for use against volume and bottom mines. The towed sensor, which consists of two side looking sonars (SLS), a gap filler sonar (GFS) and ahead looking sonar (ALS), provides simultaneous detection, localization and classification of bottom mines, close-tethered moored mines and volume moored mines. AN/AQS-20 is equipped with an electro-optic identification device (EOID) or volume search sonar (VSS) capability that can be configured onto the towed body. The towed sensor is deployed via a winch system from within the RMMV and operates in either an altitude- or depth-following mode. Its sensors can operate in either a hull-mounted mode or while being towed by the RMMV at variable depths.

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 combine 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).

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.
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.
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, Florida.
Date Deployed: Completed Technical Evaluation (TECHEVAL) with the LCS MCM MP in September 2015.
General Characteristics, AN/AQS-20A Minehunting Sonar
Contractor: Raytheon - Portsmouth, Rhode Island
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: 17 November 2016