LCS & MH-60S Mine Counter-Measures Continue Development
December 12/18: COBRA subassemblies The Naval Surface Warfare Center is modifying a contract with Aretè Associates. An additional $17 million will allow the company to exercise an option of an IDIQ contract that sees for the production of AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) subassemblies. The COBRA system can be deployed on the US Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout and is designed to help detect and localize minefields and obstacles when flown over a beach or other coastal landing area. COBRA uses a fast-scanning LIDAR laser, 3D imaging camera, and target recognition algorithms. Data collected by COBRA an be sent to an amphibious landing force through the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Assault Breaching System (JABS), which could either direct a JDAM air assault on the beach to clear mines or could feed the location of mines to the precision navigation and lane marking systems on the amphibious vehicles coming ashore. Work will be performed at Aretè locations in Tucson, Arizona; Destin, Florida and Santa Rosa, California. The subassemblies are scheduled for completion by July 2021.
The US Navy currently uses large CH-53/MH-53 helicopters and towed sleds to help with mine clearance work, but they hope to replace those old systems with something smaller and newer. The MH-60S helicopter’s Airborne Mine Counter-Measures (AMCM) system adds an operator’s station to the helicopter cabin, additional internal fuel stores, and towing capability, accompanied by a suite of carried systems that can be mixed and matched. AMCM is actually 5 different air, surface and sub-surface mine countermeasures systems, all deployed and integrated together in the helicopter.
While the US Navy develops AMCM, and complementary ship-launched systems for use on the new Littoral Combat Ships, new minehunter ship classes like the Ospreys are being retired by the US Navy and sold. All in an era where the threat of mines is arguably rising, along with tensions around key chokepoints like the Suez Canal and Strait of Hormuz.
This article explains the components involved (AQS-20, ALMDS, AMNS, OASIS, RAMICS; COBRA, RMS, SMCM), chronicles their progress through reports and contracts, and provides additional links for research.
Airborne Mine Counter-Measures (AMCM): The Set
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2011 – 2012
FY 2009 – 2010
FY 2008 – 2009
FY 2006 – 2007
FY 2000 – 2005
Background: AMCM Overview
Background: AMCM Components
Background: Related Technologies
News & Views
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