Lockheed Martin Initiates At-sea Testing for Remote Minehunting System
RIVIERA BEACH, FL, 19-JAN-04 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) recently initiated an extended at-sea test period for the U.S. Navy's Remote Minehunting System (RMS), which will conclude with the delivery of the first system to the destroyer Momsen (DDG-92) in July 2004.
Launched and controlled remotely from forward-deployed ships, RMS will give Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups an organic, real-time, over-the-horizon mine reconnaissance capability for the first time, significantly enhancing ship and crew safety. A critical component of the RMS is an unmanned, semi-submersible vehicle, which tows a variable depth sonar to detect, localize, classify and identify moored and bottom mines.
The first day at sea included operating the RMS vehicle in the water and testing data link communications, which provide real-time vehicle command and control and operational status. The vehicle's safety equipment was also tested. During the tests, the vehicle was operated from Lockheed Martin's Developmental Test Subsystem portable command and control unit located on shore adjacent to the Lake Worth Inlet in Palm Beach Shores, FL.
As the RMS enters this significant at-sea test period, Lockheed Martin moves closer to delivering a critical independent mine reconnaissance capability to Navy ships," said Jim Weitzel, vice president of Ocean Systems for Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors. "Whether launched from a destroyer or from the Littoral Combat Ship, RMS will provide naval combatants lower risk access to the littoral battlespace without impacting other warfare missions."
During the next few months at sea, further testing will validate RMS system requirements including semi-autonomous operations, minehunting vehicle speed and endurance, sonar contact localization and reacquisition, and Electrical Optical Identification of mine-like objects.
The minehunting vehicle is pre-programmed to perform autonomously, and can be manually controlled at any time via datalink, even when over the horizon. The vehicle is fully effective in a wide range of sea conditions. The modular construction design allows access to key sections of the vehicle for easy at-sea maintenance and reconfiguration, whether for greater endurance, sonar sensor tailoring or alternate warfare missions.
Other key elements of the RMS include line-of-sight and over-the-horizon real-time data links, a shipboard launch and recovery subsystem, and a software segment, which integrates RMS into the ship's Undersea Warfare Combat System, developed by Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, NY.