The U.S. Navy took delivery of the final component of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Mission Package, Nov. 30, following successful completion of a rigorous acceptance test regime at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
The Raytheon-developed, Dual-mode Array Transmitter (DART) Mission System and ASW Mission Package will significantly increase ASW capabilities within the U.S. Navy, bringing the ability to maneuver active and passive sonars above and below the thermocline layer.
“The DART Mission System is an essential component of the LCS ASW Package, and when coupled with the SQQ-89 acoustic processing, the multi-function towed array and MH-60R [Sea Hawk] helicopter, makes up an ASW MP that will provide revolutionary capabilities to the fleet,” said Capt. Ted Zobel, LCS Mission Module program manager.
Sailors attached to USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Gold Crew, Dets. 1 and 2., have played an integral role in testing and evaluating the DART Mission System. The Sailors participated not only in early testing of the system, but also provided feedback to the manufacturer on the operation and usability of the system.
“LCS Sailors have participated in major testing and evaluation events throughout the development of the DART system,” said Senior Chief Sonar Technician Joseph Hart. “Raytheon’s willingness to accept Sailor input, as far as what the final production unit should look like and how it should operate has been exceptional, and has allowed the fleet testing team to ensure the DART system and the full extent of its capabilities will be effectively employed by future LCS crews.
“Tactically, this should be a game-changer for the surface Navy,” said Hart, who is with LCS ASW Det. 2.
The pre-production test article (PPTA) remained on schedule and met all contractual milestones since the award was made in March 2017.
Following the acceptance of the DART PPTA, the Navy plans to embark the system on a craft of opportunity and proceed to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center for an in-water demonstration of the of the LCS ASW Mission Package’s Escort Mission Module prior to formal developmental testing on Fort Worth.
The LCS ASW Mission Package aims to ensure the U.S. Navy will remain dominant in ASW and outpace submarine advances of international competitors.
Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC)