The US Navy has announced that its new mine countermeasures systems can now take on various naval missions after achieving initial operational capability.
The service’s mine countermeasures mission package and AN/AQS-20 Sonar Mine Detection Sets reached the milestone after rigorous testing and evaluation.
According to program manager Capt. Godfrey Weekes, the initial operational capability will enable the navy to add modern mine countermeasure systems to the fleet and replace aging platforms and sensors.
They reportedly utilize cutting-edge technologies to keep military sailors out of harm’s way by effectively detecting and destroying undersea mines.
“Mine countermeasures are a critical enabler for the joint force and in safeguarding sea-lanes for the global commons,” Expeditionary Warfare director Brig. Gen. Marcus Annibale explained.
“This new capability includes advanced technologies in unmanned systems, allowing greater standoff from the [Littoral Combat Ship] platform.”
Mine Countermeasures Mission Package Features
The package is designed to conduct detect-to-engage operations against mine threats using sensors and weapons.
It counteracts mines in the littorals while increasing a vessel’s standoff distance from the threat area.
Meanwhile, the AN/AQS-20 mine hunting and identification system is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors for improved detection, classification, and localization of targets.
It works in conjunction with the Wideband Forward-Looking Sonar, two multi-function Side Look Synthetic Aperture Sonars, and Digital Gap Fill Sonar.