Mine-hunting sonar initial tests aboard unmanned vessel completed by Northrop Grumman

PANAMA CITY, Fla. Northrop Grumman has finished initial seaborne testing of its AQS-24B mine-hunting sonar system with a new deploy/retrieval payload.

The AQS-24B uses side-scan sonar for real-time detection, localization, and classification of bottom and moored mines in addition to a laser line scanner for precise optical identification of threats. Integration of the sonar with USVs, say company officials, enables real-time transmission of data to a remote sonar operator who can start on real-time analysis of data, thereby reducing timelines and speeding identification times.

Operated from the Mine Countermeasures unmanned surface vessel (MCM USV), the AQS-24 deploy and retrieval test demonstrated the unmanned operations needed to perform a mine hunting mission off the MCM Mission Package aboard the littoral combat ship (LCS).