Naval Air Systems Command and Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Strategic Acquisition have granted two contracts to Raytheon Company amounting to $115.7 million for developing the AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS).
The ALFS is a primary undersea warfare sensor to be used in the MH-60R multimission helicopter for the U.S. Navy. It includes under the sea war mission capabilities such as localization, tracking, submarine detection, classification, underwater communication, acoustic intercept and environmental data collection.
The first contract of $59.7 million ensures that ALFS systems would be manufactured, integrated, tested or assessed and then delivered by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Helicopter maintenance trainer assets, weapons replaceable assemblies and data for the systems being tested would also be offered by the company. Spares for fleet deployed systems would be provided for by the second contract of $56 million.
According to Steven R. Eastburg, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and Program Executive Officer (Air ASW, Assault & Special Mission), the ALFS is the nucleus of the airborne anti-submarine warfare mission. He further said that ALFS with its characteristic effectiveness and versatility, when used along with the other battlegroup assets, would be the first line of defense against enemy submarine threats.
Testing the systems performance was carried out and proof of veracity was obtained during the two undersea warfare exercises conducted by the Navy. John C. Stennis. Carrier Strike Group, conducted the first trial in the Western Pacific Ocean, when ALFS was used as an anti submarine warfare sensor on the MH-60R helicopter to defend the surface ships before the submarines could reach close enough to attack them. The first exercise was termed as an unequivocal success by the Navy officials. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently conducting the second trial.
Raytheon with a global workforce of 75,000 people and with an experience of 88 years in innovations behind them provides mission systems integration and avant-garde electronics, for homeland security, defense and other government bodies worldwide.