Earlier I suggested that LCS Modules, manned my Navy Reservists, might provide a mechanism that could cut mobilization time for Cutters from months to weeks. I also noted,
There are very few Navy mine counter measures assets in the US and those we have are not spread out geographically. If there were to be a peacetime mining incident in US waters, it might be possible to airlift an MCM module to the nearest cutter to allow the problem to be dealt with more quickly.
The US Naval Institute News Service has provided access to the “Littoral Combat Ship Mission Package Annual Report,“ and there is a note included that addresses this possibility. Nine Mine Countermeasures Mission Packages (MCM MP) are to be provided “for use on other Vessels of Opportunity (V OOs) to meet the warfighting capability requirements and account for MCM maintenance cycles.”
If there is a mining incident at a US port, the air and, in some cases, the unmanned surface vessel portion of the package could be operated from shore. Those portions that might need to operate from a ship could possibly be operated from buoy tenders or other cutters, not just the large patrol cutters.
We probably ought to be exercising this once the MCM MPs become available.
MCM MM equipment is not a single entity, Navy speak system of systems, and with no associated Common Equipment MM needed to control the USV, no spares budgeted so very much doubt if any vessels of opportunity, VOO, will be able to use MCM MM in future unless Navy budgets for additional CE MM’s, Navy also saying the 9 VOO sets may be used as spares for the 14 LCS MCM ships, including the two LCS test ships. Complete integration and IOT&E on Independence and then Freedom class planned for FY21/22.
USV for towing the sonar or sweeper, IOC FY21
RMH, Remote Minehunting Module, AN/AQS-20 sonar for rapid volume sea search and identify sea bottom mines, towed by the USV, two per ship (problems with Independence crane/handling caused increased spending on Minehunting Deploy and Retrieve Rig)
UMS, Unmanned Mine Sweeping module also called the Unmanned Influence Sweep System, UISS, used when sonar mine hunting impracticable to sweep acoustic and magnetic mines, towed by the USV
BMH, Buried Minehunting module, Knifefish UUV detects, identifies buried mines in cluttered sea bottom environment with low frequency broadband sonar, think can be used on VOO as does not require CE MM
Barracuda – neutralizes near surface mines, EMD FY18, IOC FY24.
ALMDS, AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, also called the Near Surface Detection module, NSD, detects to 30 feet, ALMDS IOC Nov. 2016
AMNS, AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization System, two per set also called the Airborne Mine Neutralization module, AMN, identify mines in sea and then neutralize in volume or on bottom (Barracuda neutralizes near surface mines), IOC Nov. 2016.
CMR, Coastal Mine Reconnaissance Module, for amphibious support IOC planned for 4th qtr FY18, COBRA 1 & 2, Costal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis, beach 1, IOC July 2017, surf zone 2, Block II FY27.
COMMON EQUIPMENT MM
Hardware & software for designing Mission Package Computing Environment (MPCE), common software support functions, Multi Vehicle Communication System (MVCS), Mission Package Portable Control Stations (MP-PCS), data mission payload and associated training systems, technical data & logistics, design & development of containers for the mission packages and its program management, integration and testing
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