Remote Minehunting Systems Passes First Test

Navy’s RMS featuring Lockheed Martin’s Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle achieves major milestone

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To keep the sea lanes open, the U.S. Navy is developing a Remote Minehunting System (RMS) for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) centered on Lockheed Martin’s Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV), shown above. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

Mines can wreak havoc on naval vessels and bring maritime commerce to a full stop.

To keep the sea lanes open, the U.S. Navy is developing a Remote Minehunting System (RMS) for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) centered on Lockheed Martin’s Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV). The RMS recently achieved a major milestone, completing the first phase of reliability testing that included 500 hours of mission testing during 33 missions over a five-month period.

“Initial analysis of the data indicates that we have met or surpassed all testing and program objectives and we obtained the required data needed to proceed to the next phase,” said Steve Lose, program manager for the Navy’s RMS Program, in a December 15 news release.

As a critical component of the LCS’s mine countermeasures mission package, RMS will provide an off-board mine reconnaissance capability that conducts rapid reconnaissance of bottom and moored mines from deep water to shallow coastal, harbor and riverine areas. The RMS will aid in locating mines and help identify safe routes or operating areas around potential minefields.

Conducted off the Florida coast and completed ahead of schedule, the testing concluded the first of three planned development and testing cycles designed to improve system reliability and operations. The next phase of testing is scheduled for next year. The RMS is an integral part of ongoing LCS mine countermeasures mission package developmental testing set for 2012.

The RMS is composed of Lockheed Martin’s RMMV, its launch-and-retrieval system, the towed sonar sensor and advanced communications equipment and software. An unmanned, semi-submersible, semi-autonomous vehicle, the RMMV tows the variable-depth sensor that detects and identifies undersea threats. The high endurance, low-visibility RMS will be operated and maintained from the LCS.

A Lockheed Martin led team is building the LCS Freedom variant. The team recently began construction of its third LCS, the future USS Milwaukee. The USS Freedom – the nation’s first LCS – is currently deployed with the fleet, while LCS 3 completed successful Builder’s Trials in November. RMS will go on both the LCS Freedom-variant and Independence-variant.