Lockheed Martin [LMT] this month delivered the third production Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) to the Navy, increasing the mine countermeasures capability for both DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the company said.

The first and second RMMV were delivered to the Navy in April and August 2007, respectively, the company added.

The RMMV is a robust unmanned, semi-submersible, semi-autonomous vehicle that can be adapted to a broad spectrum of applications and missions, including towing variable-depth sensors to detect, localize, classify and identify undersea threats at a safe distance from friendly ships. Lockheed Martin said. The RMMV provides all-weather, low-observable operations, high endurance, interchangeable mission system electronics, and real-time data transfer capability beyond line of sight, the company added.

The key component of the Navy’s AN/WLD-1 Remote Mine Hunting Systems (RMS) is the RMMV. RMS also includes a launch and retrieval system for the RMMV, the RMMV-towed sonar sensor, advanced communications equipment and software that integrates RMS into the host ship’s combat system. Launched and controlled remotely from forward-deployed ships, the RMMV gives carrier and expeditionary strike groups real-time, over-the-horizon mine reconnaissance capability, keeping the Sailor out of harms way, the company said.

Late last year, Lockheed Martin reported that the USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) successfully conducted mine reconnaissance operations off the coast of Spain utilizing the AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System (RMS) on Dec. 10. RMMV was launched and recovered from Bainbridge during the exercise (Defense Daily, Dec. 17).

In 2005, the Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a low-rate initial production contract for three RMMVs; a contract for four more RMMVs was awarded in 2006.

"The Navy now has a steadily growing capability to detect and classify mines at safe distances because of the RMS program," Gary Humes, Mine Warfare Program Manager, U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Littoral and Mine Warfare, said. "This increasing capability keeps the sailor out of the minefield and helps protect the fleet against the devastation caused by sea mines."