LONDON, April 14 (UPI) -- BAE Systems in Britain is to build and deliver Archerfish mine neutralizers to the U.S. Navy as well as fiber-optic communication spools for them.
The Archerfish, an air-dropped remotely-controlled underwater vehicle equipped with an explosive warhead, has been a key part of the U.S. Navy's Airborne Mine Neutralization System program since 2007.
"We are delighted to provide the Department of Defense with Archerfish neutralizers, and to continue supporting the U.S. Navy's work in clearing sea mines," said Les Gregory, Product & Training Services director at BAE Systems.
"This important contract demonstrates BAE Systems' ability to deliver equipment that provides greater security and resilience to modern threats around the world, and we look forward to meeting the U.S. Navy's demand for a first-class underwater defense capability for many years to come."
The Department of Defense contract is worth about $22 million. If the contract's options are exercised, the overall value of the deal would be about $55.5 million.
Deliveries of the Archerfish system, which is made in Britain, will begin in September of 2017. They will be used by U.S. Navy MH-60S helicopters operating from littoral combat ships.
The fiber-optic spools for the system allow for communications between the systems and the aircraft that dropped them.