The U.S. Navy concluded developmental tests for a towed sonar designed to track mines underwater. The AN/AQS-20C sonar system detects and categorizes close-tethered, bottom, moored and volume moored mines through the use of electro-optic and acoustic sensory functions, Naval Sea Systems Command said Monday.
The service branch installed the sonar on the Textron Systems-built Common USV platform and was streamed within the Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division Gulf test range through Feb. 12. Joe Thomas, lead project engineer for the Q-20C program at NSWC PCD, said the sonar's current variant was updated to handle multiple modes. Thomas added that the sonar is ready for integration to the MCM unmanned surface vehicle.
The MCM is a semi-autnomous and diesel-propelled platform built to accommodate mine sweeping, hunting and neutralization payloads on littoral combat ships. The service branch started the development for the USV in 2018 and is slated for a competitive acquisition program in 2020.