The US Navy has declared that they have launched and recovered the remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV), which carries the AN/AWS-20A minehunting Sonar developed by Raytheon. This was the first time that the unmanned RMMV had been deployed from onboard the USS Independence (LCS2). The AN/AQS-20A adds to the mine countermeasure capabilities of the US Navy.
Steve Lose, who is the Program Manager for unmanned maritime vehicles (PMS403) has stated that this exercise has tested and proved the performance capabilities and the stability of both the AQS-20A and the RMMV. They are also adaptable for both RMMV and helicopter deployment. Raytheon supplies both the components of the mine countermeasure mission package, the AN/ASQ-235 airborne mine neutralization system (AMNS) and the AN/AQS-20A. The AMNS neutralizes after reacquiring the mines found by the AN/AQS-20A, while the AN/AWS-20A handles the detection, identification and localization of volume mines.
The AN/AWS-20A has been included in both the MH-53E and MH-605 airborne mine countermeasure helicopters. The AMNS has also been integrated into the MH-605 helicopter. The AN/AQS-20A uses electro-optical and sonar sensors and offers high resolution images of mine-like objects and mines, along with accurate location data. Testing of these systems began in the year 2002 and so far 5 AMNS systems and 15 AN/AQS-20A systems have been delivered.