• July 25, 2024

Raytheon will be implementing Airborne Mine Neutralization Systems on the MH-60 Helicopter for deployment purposes.

Raytheon has been awarded a contract worth $7 million by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop and deliver Airborne Mine Neutralization Systems (AMNS) for the MH-60 Helicopter as a vital component of the Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission module. This system will effectively neutralize bottom and moored mines through the use of a disposable mine neutralization device.

The AMNS, which will be produced, assembled, tested, and delivered by Raytheon, aims to enhance the safety and security of naval operations. In addition to the initial production, the contract also includes engineering services and support. If the options are exercised, the total value of the contract could reach $58,123,265. The designated location for the project is Portsmouth, Rhode Island, with an estimated completion date of December 2021.

 

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AMNS effectively renders harmless moored and bottom mines, carrying out its operations from both sea-based and land-based MH-60S helicopters. The utilization of helicopters as a central platform has significantly enhanced the safety of mine clearance activities.

In the initial stage, mines are detected using a sonar system or other dedicated mine countermeasure assets. Subsequently, the AMNS precisely determines the positions of the mines and proceeds to neutralize them. The components of AMNS comprise easily detachable mission equipment, including:

 

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System for Launch and Handling
Universal neutralizing vehicle
Shared console interface
Transportation, Deployment, Retrieval, and Recovery System

 

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How does AMNS operate?

The process of mine neutralization commences with the utilization of the Launch and Handling System (LHS) that is deployed from the MH-60S helicopter. The LHS is designed to seamlessly interface with the mechanical and electrical components of the MH-60S, allowing for effortless on/off kit reconfiguration. It offers a stable and reliable platform, consolidating numerous advanced technologies into a unified system that facilitates the launching of the neutralizer vehicle.

 

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The neutralizer vehicle is deployed from the Launch and Handling System (LHS) by the sensor operator aboard the aircraft. The operator directs the agile and lightweight vehicle (weighing 15.5 kg) to the designated location utilizing the on-board sonar technology.

Once the target has been visually confirmed through the vehicle’s onboard video camera, the operator activates an armor-piercing warhead to render the mine harmless. The neutralizer incorporates advanced electronics and sensors, ensuring a reliable and high-speed fiber optic data connection, as well as capabilities such as track responder and echo sounder.

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