Sept. 21 (UPI) — BAE Systems announced a contract Monday worth up to $111 million to supply the U.S. Navy with Archerfish mine neutralizers.
Archerfish is used by the US Navy’s MH-60S Helicopter squadrons as part of their Airborne Mine Neutralization System capability, and reduces the need to put diving personnel in the water for clearance missions, according to the company.
The system is a remote-controlled, torpedo-like device that can be launched and operated from a surface ship, helicopter or an unmanned underwater vehicle. Using fiber optic data link relays, Archerfish can provide real-time sonar pictures of potential targets through on-board sensors, a BAE statement on Monday said.
“Archerfish not only keeps sailors safer, it also reduces the number and cost of mine clearance missions,” said Brooke Hoskins, director of products and training for BAE’s maritime services business.
Each AMNS device consists of a Launch and Handling System for all data processing during a mission, and up to four elements called destructors, which handle target acquisition and demolition.
The Navy established a requirement for rapid neutralization of bottom and moored sea mines to support operations in littoral zones, confined straits, choke points and the amphibious objective area.
This is the fourth Navy contract awarded to BAE since 2003 to build AMNS devices, which will be manufactured at the company’s facilities in Britain.
The number of devices ordered by the Navy was not reported.