A remote minehunting unmanned system designed to quickly find mines for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) recently completed a key reliability milestone during testing, the Navy said yesterday.

The Remote Minehunting System (RMS) completed the testing last month at Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] facilities off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla. The system underwent 500 hours of offshore testing that included line-of-sight and over-the-horizon communications checks and full exercise of vehicle control, mobility, maneuvering, and sonar towing capability.

The tests were completed six weeks early, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said. The RMS is part of the LCS’s mission modular package for mine countermeasures. The RMS is to conduct rapid searches of bottom and moored mines from the deepwater to shallow water and help identify safe routes around potential minefields.

"Initial analysis of the data indicates that we have met or surpassed all testing and program objectives and we obtained the required data needed to proceed to the next phase," Steve Lose, the RMS program manager, said.

The RMS is a combination of the Remote Multi Mission Vehicle (RMMV), coupled with the towed AN/AQS-20A mine-hunting sonar system.

The RMMV is an unmanned, autonomous, semi-submersible, high endurance, low-visibility system that will be operated and maintained from the LCS, NASVEA said.