The US Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded international defence, aerospace and security company BAE Systems a £15.5 million (A$29 million) contract to manufacture and deliver Archerfish mine neutralisers.
Archerfish is a remotely-controlled underwater vehicle equipped with an explosive warhead to destroy sea mines. Manufactured at BAE Systems’ Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth, UK, the Archerfish neutraliser has formed an integral part of the US Navy’s Airborne Mine Neutralisation System (AMNS) programme since 2007.
In addition to Archerfish mine neutralisers, the contract also includes the supply of fibre-optic spools which provide a communications link between the vehicle and the launch platform – an MH-60S helicopter deployed from the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships.
Les Gregory, Product & Training Services Director at BAE Systems, said deliveries to the US Navy will begin in September 2017.
“We are delighted to provide the Department of Defence with Archerfish neutralisers, and to continue supporting the US Navy’s work in clearing sea mines,” Mr Gregory said.
“This important contract demonstrates BAE Systems’ ability to deliver equipment that provides greater security and resilience to modern threats around the world, and we look forward to meeting the US Navy’s demand for a first-class underwater defence capability for many years to come.”
The contract also includes further options which, if exercised by the DoD, could bring the total value to over £39 million (A$73 million).