US Navy MH-60R Seahawk will have added abilities to their functions like submarine detection with magnetic anomaly detectors for anti-sub warfare (ASW) duties.
Hunting subs is one of the crucial jobs in carrier strike groups (CSGs) when dealing with submarines. Several ships are tasked with it, but adding the device will make a Chinese sub think twice.
The contract was given to CAE Inc., a Canadian defense manufacturer by Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest American defense firms to install Magnetic Anomaly Detection-Extended Role (MAD-XR) system for the MH-60R. It is a collaboration that will increase the potency of the ASW helicopter, reported Eurasiantimes.
MAD-XR was developed with CAE, and the US Navy, and Lockheed Marin under Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) into 2017 said sources. CRADA is a research and development scheme for next-gen systems and technologies. Essentially universities and companies with the US military are partners in testing cutting-edge tech without a no-sale contract.
According to Thomas M. Kane, the Director, Naval Helicopter Programs, Lockheed Martin in a statement, said that the MAD-XR system is tested on platforms. This has been for several years to go through actual trials of the system. MH-60R has an advanced sensor suite that makes it the most lethally advanced anti-sub warfare helicopter in existence.
There will be six helicopters that will add this ASW system in six of the specialized fleet helicopters. This will be for the first phase of the contract too.
More silent subs are being developed by Russia and China. One tech that the Russians are testing is a sonobuoy, which is throw away device that keeps a sub hidden. Their purpose is to jam and hinder all channels of communication. Designated for use with the Borei-class, Dolphin-class SSBN's and diesel-electric submarines, cited by Naval News.
But the MAD-XR has more than one way to detect the hull of a sub making it a versatile system.
What it does is detect changes in the magnetic field, especially the presence of a submarine under the sea. The MAD system can detect metallic objects as deep as 1,200 meters under the sea. It continually scans for contacts until it does detect it with a signal. The object will give range to be relayed to the network.
Versatility is the key, and it can work on terrestrial forms to land-based surveillance and detection. The system is placed on ground vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Any metallic object will be seen, like howitzers and armored vehicles.
CAE stated the system will see through walls, underground, or dense foliage too. The MAD-XR is as capable as the Advanced Integrated Magnetic Anomaly Detection System (AIMS) that is called AN/ASQ-508 but in a smaller and lighter package. AIMS and MAD-XR have the same function as both are CAE products.
Compared to the AIMS which weighs 27 kilograms compared to the MAD-XR at 1.5 kilograms will be versatile options depending on what platform it will be mounted on. CAE designed a fully adaptable set of metal detecting sensors.
Overall, the MH-60R Seahawk and the addition of Magnetic Anomaly Detectors (MAD-XR) give the chopper a good set of operability in many roles such as a critical ASW role.