U.S. Navy gains Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle to combat underwater mines
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda, Md., has delivered the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) to the U.S. Navy, boosting the mine countermeasures capability of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and littoral combat ships (LCS).
By Courtney E. Howard
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda, Md., has delivered the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) to the U.S. Navy, boosting the mine countermeasures capability of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and littoral combat ships (LCS).
“Naval mines have damaged more U.S. Navy ships than all other combined weapons since World War II,” according to a Lockheed Martin video resident on YouTube. “The threat of naval mines is real,” the video continues, “and it is growing throughout the world. It is especially significant in littoral waters where naval missions are increasingly occurring.”
To help respond to the growing threat of moored and bottom mines, U.S. Navy officials and Lockheed Martin engineers developed the AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System (RMS). The RMMV-a mission-configurable, unmanned, semi-submersible, semi-autonomous vehicle-is the integral mobile system of this premier, persistent minehunting system.
Lockheed Martin has delivered three Remote Multi-Mission Vehicles (RMMVs) to the U.S. Navy to date.
“The Navy now has a steadily growing capability to detect and classify mines at safe distances because of the RMS program,” says Gary Humes, Mine Warfare program manager, U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Littoral and Mine Warfare. “This increasing capability keeps the Sailor out of the minefield and helps protect the fleet against the devastation caused by sea mines.”
A critical component of the Navy’s AN/WLD-1 RMS, the RMMV can be adapted to various applications and missions, such as towing variable-depth sensors to detect, localize, classify, and identify undersea threats. It is launched and then controlled remotely from the forward-deployed host ship, providing on-board Navy personnel with real-time, over-the-horizon mine reconnaissance capability. The RMMV encompasses high-endurance, interchangeable mission system electronics; all-weather, low-observable operations; and real-time data transfer beyond line of sight.
Lockheed Martin’s delivery of three production RMMVs fulfills a low-rate initial production contract award from the Naval Sea Systems Command in 2005. The company will provide four additional RMMVs to the Navy based upon a 2006 contract. The RMMV is produced at Lockheed Martin’s Riviera Beach, Fla., facility.
“The delivery of this technologically advanced product significantly enhances ship and crew safety, sending the vehicle into the danger zone instead,” Jim Weitzel, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Riviera Beach business unit, notes.
For additional information, visit Lockheed Martin Corp. online at www.lockheedmartin.com.