The AN/AQS-24C mine detecting set recently completed government acceptance testing in cooperation with the US Navy’s Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 (HM-15).
According to Brett Thach, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division’s (NSWC PCD) Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) AN/AQS-24 Project Engineer, the success of this government acceptance testing, which took place during June of 2018, is quite an important milestone achievement because it marks the completion of the developmental phase of the program and also serves as a government decision point for proceeding into the production phase of the program.
“The successful completion of this test event marked the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of good people,” said Thach. As a result, the program management office received the needed approvals to award the production contract; which was awarded to original equipment manufacturer Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems.
NSWC PCD’s AMCM branch serves as the In-Service Engineering Agents for the operational Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadrons, HM-14 and HM-15; which both fly the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. These squadrons are capable of rapidly deploying anywhere in the world within just 72 hours so they can use this sonar system, along with the other AMCM systems, to clear the waterways of underwater mines deployed by adversaries.