Fly and Listen: The AN/AQS-22 ALFS Sonar System
September 2/19: Denmark The State Department also approved a FMS to Denmark for nine AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS) systems and six hundred AN/SSQ-36/53/62 Sonobuoys with support for an estimated cost of $200 million. The AN/AQS-22 ALFS dipping sonar and sonobuoy processing system is the primary anti-submarine warfare sensor of US Navy’s MH-60R multi-mission helicopter. It provides mission-critical capabilities, including submarine detection, tracking, localization, classification, acoustic intercept, underwater communication and environmental data collection. The AQS-22 dipping sonar features 4-time greater area coverage than current systems, active or passive sonar modes, active or passive sonobuoys, enhanced shallow water capability, generate high power waveforms and many other advanced characteristics.
The AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) will equip the US Nay’s new MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, serving as their primary anti-submarine sensor. The new FLASH sonar operates using lower frequencies and higher-power waveforms than existing dipping sonars, improving long-range detection. The AQS-22 dipping sonar claims 4x the area coverage of current systems, and includes both active or passive sonar modes to help track, localize, and classify submarines. A winching system with up to 2,500 feet of cable raises and lowers the sonar.
The ALFS system complements the MH-60R’s radar, and works in concert with other equipment including active or passive sonobuoys, signal processing improvements that are especially helpful in shallow water. This Spotlight article highlights ALFS-related contracts from 2002 to the present.
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2011 – 2013
FY 2008 – 2010
FY 2003 – 2007
Additional Readings & Sources
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