The littoral combat ship (LCS) mission modules (MM) program completed developmental testing (DT) of the coastal mine reconnaissance (CMR) mission module aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Southern California February 22, the US Navy said.
Consisting of the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle with its mission control system (MCS), the AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlespace Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system with the airborne payload sub-system and the post-mission analysis sub-system, supporting software and support containers, the CMR mission module is supported by MINEnet Tactical, a web-based solution for command and control of mine warfare battlespace.
The COBRA system is integrated on the MQ-8B, providing daytime detection of surface-laid mine lines, mine fields and obstacles in the beach zone. Mission analysis is performed upon completion of the flight.
As explained, the purpose of the CMR mission module DT was to exercise the system in realistic environmental conditions using the assigned crew and aviation detachment to verify that the system is ready for operational testing.
“This DT marks the last critical step in demonstrating the CMR mission module capability on the LCS Independence variant prior to fleet introduction,” Capt. Theodore Zobel, LCS mission modules program manager, said.
The test began by embarking the CMR mission module, mission package software and associated test equipment and completing installation checks. DT consisted of nine distinct missions, including mission tasking from a shore-based mine warfare commander mission planning by the ship and assigned aviation detachment, flying the planned mission, downloading and analyzing the collected data and transmission of analyzed data off the ship to the mine warfare commander.
“The recently completed DT and previously completed integration and shore-based testing prepare the ship and train the crews for more complex mine warfare missions and initial operational test and evaluation, scheduled to begin in March 2018,” Zobel further said.
PEO LCS is affiliated with the Naval Sea Systems Command and provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, from procurement through fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of the LCS ships and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide US forces with access to coastal areas.