WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The remote minehunting system (RMS), a critical component of the mine countermeasures mission package for the littoral combat ship class, completed the first phase of reliability testing Nov. 22, at the Lockheed Martin facilities off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla.
The RMS, which will provide an off-board mine reconnaissance capability, successfully completed more than 500 hours of offshore, in-water testing, including line-of-sight and over-the-horizon communications checks and full exercise of vehicle control, mobility, maneuvering, and sonar towing capability. Completed six-weeks early, the tests validated reliability and maintainability improvements made to the baseline vehicle.
"Initial analysis of the data indicates that we have met or surpassed all testing and program objectives and we obtained the required data needed to proceed to the next phase," said Steve Lose, program manager for the Remote Minehunting System program.
The RMS is designed to conduct rapid reconnaissance of bottom and moored mines from the deep-water region to the very shallow water region. The RMS will aid in the determination of the presence of mines and help identify safe routes or operating areas around potential minefields.
The RMS is a combination of the remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV), coupled with the towed AN/AQS-20A mine-hunting sonar system. The RMMV is an unmanned, autonomous, semi-submersible, high endurance, low-visibility system that will be operated and maintained from the LCS. The vehicle has self-contained control, propulsion, power, and navigation. The AN/AQS-20A sonar system is designed to detect, classify, and localize mine-like contacts and identify bottom mines.
The program will now begin preparing for the next phase of reliability testing, scheduled to commence in third-quarter of fiscal year 2012. RMS will also be an integral part of ongoing LCS mine countermeasures mission package developmental testing scheduled for first-quarter of fiscal year 2012.
PEO LCS, an affiliated Program Executive Office of Naval Sea Systems Command, 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.