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NAVSEA Newswire - November 2011

NOV10-02: LCS Mine Neutralization System Completes Live Fire Test
From: Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships, Public Affairs


PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS), successfully conducted the first complete detect-to-engage sequence for the Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS), Oct. 28, in Panama City, Fla., demonstrating the system's ability to fire an Archerfish destructor against an inert target.


A critical component of the littoral combat ships mine countermeasures mission package, AMNS is designed to explosively neutralize mines located during mine hunting operations. Delivered from an MH-60S helicopter, the system deploys up to four expendable neutralization vehicles. The vehicle is controlled from a console on board the helicopter through a fiber optic cable. It performs positive identification of a mine before warhead detonation.


"This is a significant milestone in the program," said Rear Adm. Jim Murdoch, program executive officer for Littoral Combat Ships. "Mine neutralization is currently a significant gap both in terms of capability and capacity and this event demonstrates that the littoral combat ship is bringing a new, viable neutralization capability to the fleet as part of the mine countermeasures mission package."


This event is part of the ongoing "live fire" developmental testing conducted at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division in conjunction with HX-21, the Navy's developmental test and evaluation squadron.


Five low-rate initial production systems have been delivered to the Navy with the sixth system scheduled to be delivered in January 2012.


"As a vital component to the mine countermeasures mission package, AMNS will provide carrier strike group and expeditionary strike group commanders with a new resource that will provide a rapid, organic mine neutralization capability," said Donna Carson-Jelley, mine warfare program manager for PEO LCS. "Most importantly, this is another step in protecting our divers and marine mammals by keeping them out of the minefield through the use of unmanned systems."


PEO LCS, an affiliated program executive office of Naval Sea Systems Command, provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the Littoral Combat Ship class, beginning with procurement, and ending with fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of LCS and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U. S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.

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