ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has contracted Northrop Grumman to support integration of its AQS-24A Side Look Sonar System onto an unmanned surface vessel.
The AQS-24A Side Look Sonar System is normally towed by a helicopter to detect mines. ON the USV it will search for bottom mines as well as surface mines.
"This is a great step forward for those who have been involved in USVs and mine hunting for as many years as the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and Northrop Grumman," said Tom Jones, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Undersea Systems business unit. "The results of this effort could apply to future USV programs, both in the U.S. Navy as well as the navies of potential coalition partners such as Australia."
Northrop said it has been testing the system, as well as its predecessors, on unmanned surface vessels since 2002.
The value of the contract and other terms, such as length, were not disclosed.