Raytheon [RTN] was awarded a $33 million contract by the Navy for the production, integration, and delivery of AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS) systems, the company said Wednesday.
The contract includes an option for further systems for the United States and potential Foreign Military Sales (FMS), which would bring the total contract value up to over $98 million.
The ALFS is a mission-critical anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability for the defense of Navy ships, Raytheon said. It provides submarine detection, tracking, localization, classification, acoustic intercept, underwater communication, and environmental data collection. The ALFS is also the only in-service dipping sonar with multi-frequency operation, which allows it to adapt performance to environmental conditions, the company noted.
The ALFS has a rapid search rate and extended range. “The system’s longer detection range over a wider area also reduces the number of helicopters required to perform active anti-submarine warfare screening,” Raytheon said in a statement.
“Access and safe passage on the world’s oceans are critical to our global interests, economy and security. ALFS’ proven capabilities make it the U.S. Navy’s airborne anti-submarine warfare sensor of choice, able to effectively sense and detect the otherwise unseen threat of enemy submarines,” Kevin Peppe, vice president of Raytheon in the integrated defense systems’ seapower capability systems business area, said in a statement.
Raytheon said that ALFS is the primary undersea warfare sensor for the Navy’s MH-60R multi-mission helicopter. It provides improved airborne anti-submarine warfare capability by being highly integrated with the helicopter and the MK 54 lightweight torpedo, the company said.
Raytheon began low-rate initial production in 2002 and has since delivered over 130 ALFS systems. Eight ALFS systems were delivered to the Royal Australian Navy under a FMS deal with 17 more planned for delivery by 2016.
The Navy’s MH-60R is manufactured by Sikorsky [UTX] and equipped with mission systems and sensors by Lockheed Martin [LMT].