May 30 (UPI) -- Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems has received an $11 million contract to build, assemble, test, and deliver initial low-rate production models of the AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization System, or AMNS.
The contract includes service and support for the system along with engineering work. Contract options could eventually bring the total value of the program to $58.1 million.
The work will be performed in Portsmouth, R.I., and is expected to be completed by May 2019. Funds from fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 of $10 million in Navy procurement funds are being appropriated for the program. The contract is non-competitive.
The AMNS is designed to be used by both land and sea based MH-60S helicopters, including those launched from the Littoral Combat Ship.
It is meant to explosively detonate both moored and bottom sea mines. It uses a sonar system to first detect the mines, and the Launch Handling System.
The munition used is a lightweight sonar guided explosive that includes its own electronics to provide back-up targeting systems. It has data links and a passive sonar to ensure target destruction. An inert unit is also being provided for training purposes.
Sea mines are in use by countries across the world as area-denial weapons for chokepoints in seaways. Mine detection and destruction is a priority for the Littoral Combat Ship, destroyers, and other light vessels in combat.