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Raytheon, U.S. Navy improve anti-mine sonar

Raytheon and the U.S. Navy have enhanced the imaging capabilities of the AN/AQS-20A anti-mine sonar system.

By Richard Tomkins
Raytheon reports its AN/AQS-20A mine-hunting sonar, not pictured, has been enhanced for better performance. Picttured, an unmanned surface vehicle deploys an AQS-24A sonar. U.S. Navy photo by Ken Rose
Raytheon reports its AN/AQS-20A mine-hunting sonar has been enhanced for better performance, including sharper imaging of objects deep under the sea.
The improvement in the system's ability to identify and classify mines is the result of a collaborative agreement with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center -- Division Newport, it said.
"Together with NUWC, we've applied our collective expertise to enhance this critical undersea warfare technology -- and we've achieved outstanding results," said Paul Ferraro, vice president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' Seapower Capability Systems. "Building on the system's proven performance, we've increased its ability to go further and see objects more clearly -- critical abilities for the Navy's mine warfare mission."
The collaboration -- through a company-funded "work for private party" contract -- included at sea testing of the sonar enhancementsIn the tests, the AN/AQS-20A's optimized sonars captured images of the ocean floor with enough clarity to see the contents of lobster pots, Raytheon said.
The AN/AQS-20A is the only mine-hunting sonar currently in production for the U.S. Navy. It is also the only system certified for deployment from the Navy's Littoral Combat Ships.

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