The US Naval Surface Warfare Center has awarded Raytheon a $91.7 million contract to provide technical support services for the US Navy’s sonar mine-hunting system and associated retrieving platform.
The contract involves the depot-level support, maintenance, and modifications of the navy’s AN/AQS-20 Sonar Mine Detecting Set and its AN/MHP-20 Deploy and Retrieve system.
The deal has a one-year base period amounting to $18.5 million expected to be completed by August 2023.
The work will be performed at Raytheon’s facilities in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Poulsbo, Washington; and Panama City, Florida.
Works could extend through to August 2027 if all options are exercised.
The AN/AQS-20 Mine-Hunting Sonar
The AN/AQS-20 mine-hunting system, developed by Raytheon Technologies, is the US Navy’s latest towed sonar-based undersea mine detector technology.
The system is one of the detectors included in the littoral combat ship mine countermeasures mission package that can be equipped to “aviation assets and unmanned surface, semi-submersible, and submersible vehicles” for detecting, localizing, and neutralizing mines at all sea levels.
Its newer version, the AN/AQS-20C, is built with advanced signal processing and a computer algorithm that allows mine-hunting operators real-time computer-aided detection and classification of different sea mines planted at any depth.
The AN/AQS-20C uses a multi-function, wide synthetic aperture sonar for acoustic mine identification through all water conditions, a wide-band forward sonar that simultaneously hunts mines, and a digital gap-filler sonar that could detect mines directly located under a towed unit.