Raytheon Co., one of the world’s largest defense contractors, has received a $10,5 million contract modification to exercise options for maintenance and support for the AN/AQS-20 Sonar Mine Detecting Set.
In a statement Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Defense said the AN/AQS-20 is a towed, mine hunting and identification system for program executive office, unmanned and small combatants.
Also noted that this option exercise extends the period of performance and allows for continuing support including but not limited to: repair; overhauls and other scheduled maintenance; hardware and software maintenance; tracking and resolution of obsolescence issues; technology improvements; reliability and maintainability improvements; development and incorporation of change notices and engineering change proposals; test support; engineering services; spares and repair parts; design efforts and hardware upgrades to improve system performance, sustainability, reliability, and other activities in support of the program. Work is expected to be complete by May 2021.
According to Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division’s (NSWC PCD) Q-20C Lead Project Engineer Joe Thomas, the Q-20 C variant has increased capabilities, particularly with regard to searching in multiple modes in the water column.
“This is a multi-modal search sonar,” said Thomas. “When you put the Q-20C sonar sensor in the water, it looks down, to each side, and is also forward-looking. The C-variant upgraded acoustic array technology as well as an integrated, electro-optic identification sensor. Previous versions of this sensor had to swap the volume-search module for an electro-optic identification module. With the latest improvements, it’s essentially looking everywhere in the surrounding volume of water.”
NSWC PCD is considered the nation’s premier technical center for Mine Warfare and Mine Countermeasures (MCM). NSWC PCD’s subject matter experts partnered with Q-20C post mission analysis (PMA) operators during this phase of DT to evaluate the system performance with these latest improvements.
Thomas said the improvements implemented into the C-variant ready the system to be integrated with its intended tow platform, the MCM Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV) in Fiscal Year 2020.