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NSWC PCD engineers train operators on airborne search and detection sonars

By Ashley Conner | NSWC PCD Public Affairs | Sept. 22, 2019

PANAMA CITY, Fla. —

Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) engineers trained operators from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 & 15 on Airborne Search and Detection Sonars (AN/AQS-24B) here recently.  

“The purpose of the training was to qualify new operators for the AQS-24B system,” said Justin Grimes NSWC PCD AN/AQS-24 systems engineer. “After this training from the surface vessel, these new operators will be able to conduct mine hunting missions from the MH-53E helicopter.”

The AN/AQS-24B can be towed through the water by surface vessels or by helicopters in areas where enemy anti-ship mines may be present. The system can work at high speeds, uses high-resolution side-scan sonar for real time detection, localization and classification of bottom and moored mines at high area coverage rates.

“Having this training allows the squadrons to have high speed detection and classification abilities that are essential to the mine countermeasure community.”

NSWC PCD hosts the AN/AQS-24B operator training to the HM squadrons a couple times a year and conducts the training onboard an M/V Patriot, an NSWC PCD support vessel.

“Our mission is to ensure a more lethal fleet,” said Capt. Aaron Peters, NSWC PCD commanding officer.  ”This type of training is just one of many examples of how the work we do here ensures the Navy is creating an unfair advantage over our adversaries.”