Multiple Missions Seen for Minehunting
System’s Unmanned Remote Vehicle
The Navy’s AN/WLD- 1 Remote
Minehunting System (RMS) is a
mine countermeasures system designed to be deployed aboard Arleigh
Burke destroyers and the Littoral
Combat Ship (LCS). The system’s
key component is the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV), a semiautonomous, semi-submersible, unmanned vehicle that tows a variable-depth sensor to detect, classify, localize and identify moored and bottom
mines. The RMMV is built by
Lockheed Martin’s MS2 Undersea
Systems facility in Riviera Beach, Fla.
The first RMMV/RMS deployed with
USS Bainbridge in August. A second
RMMV was delivered to the Navy
Sept. 10. A third will be delivered
shortly. Lockheed Martin is building
seven RMMVs under a $118 million
low-rate initial production contract.
An RMMV prototype was built in
1994 to demonstrate vehicle hydrodynamics, telemetry and minehunting performance. The WLD- 1 development contract was awarded in
1999, which is when a fully capable
prototype RMMV (then the Remote
Minehunting Vehicle, or RMV) began testing. Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin
contracts for three RMMVs in 2005
and four more in 2006.
WHO’S IN CHARGE:
Mark Somers is director, Remote
Multi-Mission Vehicles, at Lockheed
Martin MS2 Undersea Systems. He
has been with Lockheed Martin for
more than 26 years.
The first [RMS] system is on the Bainbridge, which participated in
a NATO exercise. [The RMMV] currently is outfitted in the mine
warfare configuration. The second RMMV has been delivered to the Navy
and will be part of the first mine warfare package for the LCS.
One of the most important things about this mine warfare system is it’s
getting the man out of the minefield and decreasing the detect-to-engage
timeline that is so key. That is what this vehicle really brings to the Navy.
The Navy Program Office recognized the multimission capability of the
vehicle and went to the ‘Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle’ terminology. They
recognized the vehicle is capable of handling a lot of different sensors and
that there are a number of potential uses [for example, antisubmarine warfare (ASW), logistics transportation, imaging or intelligence, surveillance
One of the very strong points of this vehicle is you can deploy it from a
DDG [Arleigh Burke], an LCS, an amphibious ship. We can launch it right
here from shore, which we routinely do during test and integration. Roll it
out of the building and into the water. So it is really not tied to LCS. It’s not
tied to any specific platform. It really has a multiplatform capability.
One of the Navy’s big pushes is to keep to one configuration, so that when
you do switch missions all you need to do is swap sensors and software. If
you have the sensor payloads on the ship, you should be able to do that right
onboard. That is the goal we are headed toward and we will prove that
out when we put in the first ASW mission module and test that.