The remote minehunting system designed to operate off the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has completed reliability assessment and will now move into developmental testing, the service said Thursday.

The reliability testing took place June 14 off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., and concluded more than 850 hours of testing over a four-month period.

The Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle. Photo by U.S. Navy

The remote minehunting system (RMS) consists of a semi-submersible remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV) equipped with sonar to detect, locate and classify bottom and moored mines. By operating remotely, the minehunting system keeps ships and sailors out of mine zones.

The system is designed as part of the Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission module, one of three swappable packages designed for the ship. The other two are for surface and anti-submarine warfare.

"I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this event," said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, program executive officer for Littoral Combat Ships. "It gives us great confidence as we prepare for the next phases of RMS and LCS mine countermeasures mission package testing."    

The developmental test phase is scheduled to begin in the next three months, said Steve Lose, remote minehunting system program manager.

Lockheed Martin [LMT], the maker of the RMMV, said it will continue working with the Navy to bring the vehicle’s capability to the fleet.

"With the completion of the reliability testing, we are a big step closer to addressing the need for a safe, efficient mine warfare capability for the US Navy," Steve Froelich, the company’s program director for mission systems and training, said.