The anti-submarine warfare mission package for the littoral combat ships has met two testing milestones, the US Navy’s Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) has announced.
The first was a ten-day Dockside-1 test event on the dual-mode array transmitter (DART) mission system towed body and associated launch-and-recovery assembly components in Fort Pierce, Florida.
The second was a full-power, in-water test of the active array at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Seneca Lake Detachment’s test facility in Dresden, New York.
“The Seneca Lake Test was a huge step forward for the DART System and the ASW Mission Package as a whole. This revolutionary technology is critical to countering the rising submarine threats worldwide,” said LCS Mission Module Program Manager Capt. Ted Zobel.
The array previously was tested at Raytheon’s shallow-water facilities in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. This test on Seneca Lake was the first opportunity for the new technology to be demonstrated in an open-water test environment, which allows better understanding of how the system will perform when deployed on an LCS. The successful completion of this test event provided navy officials and industry partners valuable information on performance specifications and options for future modifications.
DART development includes incremental testing of the individual system components followed by progressively more inclusive integration and testing until the full ASW mission package has been tested.
The Dockside-1 test a week prior to the Seneca Lake event had LCS sailors overseeing and actively engaging in the operation of the DART mission system at the Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s waterside product integration, assembly and test complex.
Dockside-2 testing, planned for autumn 2018, will expand the scope of DART system integration to add three additional Raytheon mission modules to complete the system. The navy will take delivery of the DART Mission System from Raytheon later this year and plans to take the system to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center early next year for additional testing.