This is the fourth consecutive Archerfish contract awarded to BAE Systems since 2003 and will see the firm deliver to the US Navy over the next seven years.

According to BAE Systems, Archerfish is a remote-controlled underwater mine neutraliser that can be launched and operated from a surface ship, helicopter or an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).

“Its fibre optic data link relays real-time, high resolution, low-light video and high frequency sonar pictures of targets of interest from its on-board sensors.  The design reduces the time it takes to identify and neutralise targets, meaning clearance missions can be completed more quickly. Archerfish also protects personnel by eliminating the need to put divers into the water. Archerfish is used by the US Navy’s MH-60S Helicopter squadrons (AN/ASQ-235) as part of the Airborne Mine Neutralisation capability, deployed from the Littoral Combat Ship.”

Under the new contract Archerfish will continue to support the US Navy in live mine clearance operations and also provide capability to conduct training exercises between now and 2027.

The contract also includes the supply of fibre optic spool kits, support equipment, surveys, repairs and programme management and support, which will be provided by the Archerfish project team based in Portsmouth, UK.

Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems’ Maritime Services business, said in a press statement:

“This contract builds on our strong partnership with the US Navy which has seen BAE Systems supporting its minesweeping operations for almost two decades. Archerfish not only helps to keep sailors safer, it also reduces the number and cost of mine clearance missions. Its world-leading capability and outstanding service with the US Navy makes Archerfish a highly attractive proposition to other major naval forces around the world.”  

Archerfish is manufactured in the UK at BAE Systems’ Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Hillend facility in Dunfermline, Fife. BAE alsos ay that the contract with the US Department of Defense secures 30 highly skilled jobs in BAE Systems in Portsmouth and Fife and further jobs in the UK supply chain.

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Ian M
Ian M
8 days ago

How does it “neutralize” a mine? Does it bump into it, so it goes bang? Does it have a warhead? Interesting stuff.

Ian M
Ian M
8 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

To answer my own question: From the BAe website: Archerfish combats the resistance of Insensitive munition mines to disposal whilst reducing resource outlays. Clearance time is lowered by a factor of 4 units and through life costs are also reduced due to the integration of the warhead and package. Archerfish can be launched and operated from surface ships, helicopters and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). It is deployed from a launch ‘cradle’ with a fibre optic data link providing exacting command of the weapon. Through the use of high frequency sonar and low light video data, Archerfish will identify mine threats… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Remote control detonation via the control cable.

Ian M
Ian M
7 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

At £ or $ 80k a pop that’s an expensive bang, best be sure about what you’re looking at!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 days ago

A useful addition for Merlin and Wildcat?

Derek
Derek
7 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

A British designed and manufactured technology that the cousins rate and we don’t seem to use it?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 days ago
Reply to  Derek

We use SeaFox drones on our minesweepers which are made by a German company. US uses both. Functionality of the two is practically identical but I think the Archerfish can go deeper to attack a tethered mines anchor point on the seafloor rather than just its chain. Archerfish does cost nearly three times what a Seafox does though ($37,000 vs £80,000)

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

*$88,000 not $80,000

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The RN dont hunt mines from Helos we use the MCMV’s for that.
Sea fox is a lot bigger than Archerfish and its design doesnt lend itself to external carriage. Currently the USN helos launch Sea fox from the door.

Both systems do the same job.

farouk
farouk
7 days ago

Maybe we should invest in the WASP “Stingray”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45NtEXv7DZs