Navy Looks to Outfox Enemy with SeaFox
Lockheed Martin integrates urgent need mine countermeasure solution on Avenger class ships and MH-53 helicopters
Shipping drives international trade, with approximately 90 percent of the world’s commerce moving by water.
With tensions in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, even the threat of an underwater mine in a busy waterway can bring shipping to a halt. To help it keep the world’s shipping lanes open, the U.S. Navy turned to Lockheed Martin to upgrade its existing mine countermeasure equipment.
Leveraging systems integration expertise and more than a decade of experience developing an airborne mine neutralization capability for the Navy, Lockheed Martin recently met the Navy’s urgent need for a better mine identification and neutralization system.
The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in February 2012 to adapt the Atlas SeaFox neutralizer, an expendable remotely operated system that identifies and neutralizes mines, so it could operate seamlessly from an MH-53E Dragon mine hunting helicopter and the Avenger-class mine countermeasure ship to identify and neutralize mines.
The Lockheed Martin-led team successfully integrated upgraded SeaFox mine neutralizers on three Avenger-class ships and on six systems for MH-53 helicopters, completing the Urgent Operational Need contractwithin an aggressive timeline.
“By executing this program, we assisted the U.S. Navy in achieving its goal to have a single, common configuration to reduce overall costs while allowing for rapid improvements to its ship and airborne mine countermeasure equipment,” said Mark Somers, Lockheed Martin program manager. “We are honored to partner with the Navy to enhance the Fleet’s mine warfare capability and keep Sailors and ships out of the minefields.”
Posted on July 2, 2013
Did You Know?
- Sea mines are explosive devices that can destroy ships or submarines.
- They can be triggered by the approach of, or contact with, a transiting vessel.
- More than 50 navies world wide have a collective inventory of more than 250,000 sea mines.
- A $10,000 mine can destroy a $2-billion vessel.
Source: U.S. Navy