Unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) from Lockheed Martin to be upgraded for countermine warfare
March 11, 2015
By John Keller
WASHINGTON, 11 March 2015. Unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are upgrading three versions of the company’s Remote Multi-Mission Vehicles (RMMV) UUVs for use in countermine warfare aboard the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.
Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $28.8 million contract Friday to the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training segment in Riviera Beach, Fla., to upgrade three low-rate initial production 1 versions of the RMMV unmanned submersible to version 6.0 for use as the Remote Minehunting System (RMS) aboard the Littoral Combat Ship.
The RMMV UUV is based on the Lockheed Martin AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System, a 23-foot-long semiautonomous semisubmersible diesel-powered submarine with a snorkel and antenna mast that detects difficult-to-find moored and bottom sea mines.
The RMMV acting in the countermine role tows an advanced variable-depth sensor designed to identify sea mine threats, has demonstrated its ability to operate without a host combatant ship.
The unmanned minehunting vehicle has been deploying on U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers; now Lockheed Martin is modifying the unmanned vessel to be part of the countermine warfare mission module aboard the Littoral Combat Ship with enhancements to bring the RMMV up to version 6.0.
Related: Upgrades to Lockheed Martin Remote Minehunting System unmanned vehicle to compensate for gaps in capability
These upgrades to the RMMV involve reliability improvements and modifications for integrating the unmanned mine hunter onto the Littoral Combat Ship and that ship’s countermine warfare mission package. Lockheed Martin previously made upgrades to the RMMV to enable the unmanned vessel to perform coastal defense, or intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR).
The RMMV is launched and then controlled remotely from the host ship, providing on-board Navy personnel with real-time, over-the-horizon mine reconnaissance capability. The RMMV encompasses high-endurance, interchangeable mission system electronics; all-weather, low-observable operations; and real-time data transfer beyond line of sight.
In addition to being part of the Littoral Combat Ship’s countermine warfare mission module, the RMMV also is designed to support other Navy surface ships not originally designed for counter-mine warfare.
The RMMV uses a portable launch and recovery system from either a pier or a ship of opportunity. The system has been launched in less than 10 minutes with a pier side overhead crane.
On Friday’s contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Palm Beach, Fla., and Syracuse, N.Y., and should be finished by February 2017. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/mst, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.