WASHINGTON, 24 Oct. 2013. U.S. Navy leaders are asking engineers at the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Nashua, N.H., to build another three AN/SQQ-32(V)4 mine-hunting sonar systems for Navy Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships under terms of a $11 million contract announced this week.
The AN/SQQ-32(V)4 is the high frequency wideband (HFWB) detection sonar upgrade to the in-service AN/SQQ-32(V)3 mine hunting sonar set. The legacy AN/SQQ-32(V)3 system was designed in the 1980s as a deep-water application sonar.
Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington awarded the contract to BAE Systems to upgrade three more of the AN/SQQ-32(V)3 system upgrades, which enable the AN/SQQ-32 mine-hunting sonar to detect stealthy mines in high-clutter bottom environments.
The system's design helps improve the overall area clearance rate for the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships, and better detect and classify bottom and moored sea mines in shallow waters.
BAE Systems is finishing work on a 2011 $10.3 million contract to provide 10 upgraded AN/SQQ-32(V)4 minehunting sonar systems. The company has been manufacturing the AN/SQQ-32(V)4 since 2010.
The AN/SQQ-32(V)4 HFWB detection sonar upgrade entails a form and fit implementation to the system's towed body, OK-520 winch, tow cable, and operator consoles. The project involves fiber optic technology to send raw data rates in excess of 10 gigabytes per second to the topside processors. The project also is intended to reduce component obsolescence issues.
The AN/SQQ-32(V)4 variable depth mine-hunting sonar has two independent sonar arrays within one variable depth towed body for providing oceanic mine detection and classification.
The system's upgraded high frequency wide band sonar enhances the ability of Avenger-class ships to detect and differentiate modern threat mines, bottom mines, non-mine, and mine-like objects in littoral and cluttered underwater environments from safe distances.
On the current contract BAE Systems will do the work in Hudson, N.H.; East Granby, Conn.; Littleton, Mass.; Nashua, N.H.; and Austin, Texas, and should be finished by December 2015.