MH-60S underpowered for MCM towing operations, report finds
By Sam LaGrone
The US Navy's (USN's) future airborne mine countermeasure (AMCM) MH-60S helicopter is unable to tow the minehunting sonar or minesweeping system forming part of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasures module (MCM) mission module, the Pentagon's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) revealed in his annual report, released 15 January.
"The navy determined the MH-60S helicopter cannot safely tow the AN/AQS-20A Sonar Mine Detecting Set (AQS-20A) or the Organic Airborne Sweep and Influence System (OASIS) because the helicopter is underpowered for these operations," read the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Fiscal Year 2012 report from DOT&E, Dr J Michael Gilmore.
"The MH-60S helicopter will no longer be assigned these missions operating from any ship, including LCS," it added.
Speaking to IHS Jane's on 15 January, a USN official said the navy found that the MH-60S had insufficient power to operate the AQS-20A sonar safely: in the event of an engine failure, the helicopter would not be able to recover the sled and risk the crew in the process.171 of 413 words
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