Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington awarded a $35.5 million contract to Raytheon Wednesday for three AN/AQS-20A sonar mine detecting sets and related equipment. The contract has options that could increase it to $199.7, Navy officials say.
The AN/AQS-20A is a mine hunting and identification system with acoustic and identification sensors housed in an underwater towed body. The acoustic sensors detect, classify, and pinpoint bottom, close-tethered, and volume enemy mines in one pass.
The AN/AQS-20A is an integrated acoustic and electro-optic sensor system with a hydrodynamically stable towed body sensor that can be operated from on Navy MH-53E and MH-60S helicopters, as well as from the and AN/WLD-1 remotely operated underwater vehicle. The system can find and neutralize sea mines placed as deeply as 450 feet.
The system's sidescan, forward-looking, and gap-filler sonars detect and pinpoint sea mines from long ranges. Its Streak Tube Imaging Lidar (STIL) electro-optical sensor provides high resolution 3D images at short ranges to help identify bottom and moored mines.
The STIL sensor, also called Electro-Optic Identification (EOID), is from Raytheon partner Areté Associates Optical Engineering in Tucson, Ariz. The STIL sensor fits in a space of the towed body that is 15 inches in diameter and 19 inches long.
The AQS-20 uses imaging sonars, signal processing, and computer algorithms to localize mine-like objects and alert the system operator with a visual image and a contact data list. The system is 10.5 feet long, 15.5 inches in diameter, and weighs 975 pounds.
AQS-20 sends sonar and imaging data up its fiber-optic tow cable to the operator console located either aboard the host helicopter or by wireless data links to operators aboard nearby surface vessels. The operator’s station has a high-speed data recorder to store mission information for later analysis.
On this contract Raytheon will do the work in Portsmouth, R.I.; Tucson, Ariz.; Pawcatuck, Conn.; Middletown, R.I.; Glen Rock, N.J.; Windber, Pa.; Cincinnati; Big Lake, Minn.; Woodland Hills, Calif.; Lewisburg, Tenn.; Huntsville, Ala.; Poway, Calif.; North Springfield, Vt.; and Hampton, Va., and should be finished by February 2015.