The Northrop Grumman AQS-24B Minehunter will be exhibited at the 2018 Undersea Defence & Security Conference in Portsmouth this month.
The manufacturers say it uses a high-resolution, side scan sonar for real time detection, localisation and classification of mines at high coverage rates and a laser line scanner to provide precision optical identification. The AQS series minehunter is used both domestically and abroad and has logged thousands of hours of operation.
At the recent Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, representatives of the US Navy praised the AQS-24B minehunting system for its performance in exercises in the Arabian Gulf and in South Korea.
The AQS-24B completed fleet introduction as an upgrade to the already operational AQS-24A in the spring of 2017. The upgrade added a state-of-the-art High Speed Synthetic Aperture Sonar capability, developed and built by Northrop Grumman, which significantly increased the system’s sonar resolution for mine detection, localisation and classification.
US Navy Commodore Mike Egan, Commander Task Force 52 (CTF-52), based in Bahrain, commented during a panel on mine warfare at the conference that, “The AQS-24B is performing extremely well in theatre and exceeding the expectations of the fleet operators.”
According to a press release:
“The AQS-24B is operated from both the MH-53E heavy lift helicopters from Helicopter Mine countermeasures Squadron 15 (HM-15) and from the Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vessels (MHU) in the Arabian Gulf.
The MHU with the AQS-24 has been deployed and operated from both U.S. Navy ships, such as the recently decommissioned USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) and the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3), as well as United Kingdom Royal Navy ships, such as the RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009).”
The 2018 Undersea Defence & Security Conference in takes place March 20th to the 22nd.