Northrop Grumman AQS-24A test
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Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated its AQS-24A Mine Detecting Sensor System.

The corporation used a Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MHU) in tandem with the AQS-24A in the Arabian Gulf, according to a release.

The MHU with the AQS-24A was rapidly fielded by the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office (PMS 406), NAVSEA, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Division Newport and Northrop Grumman to prove the utility of mine hunting from an 11-meter unmanned surface platform.

The MHU was remotely controlled and executed a preplanned mission by transiting to an operational area, deploying the AQS-24A, executing a search pattern and recovering the sensor. Real-time situational awareness data and sensor sonar data were sent via tactical data link to the command and control (C2) station to ensure safe operation while maintaining mission objectives.

“We are encouraged by the progress made with MHU 1 and 2 in 5th Fleet,” said Capt. David Honabach, PMS 406 Unmanned Maritime Systems program manager for U.S. Navy, in a statement. “We are also pleased that we could successfully demonstrate this capability to a key coalition partner in the Arabian Gulf region and look forward to Flight 2 Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vehicles [USV] for future success.”

Navy officials said the deployment of the new technology will expand “the operational envelope of the AQS-24A to be expanded for day and night operations at lower operational costs.”

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