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AN/SQQ-32 - Variable Depth Minehunting Sonar

The AN/SQQ-32 is a variable depth mine hunting detection and classification sonar for the Avenger (MCM-1) and Osprey (MHC-51) Surface Mine Countermeasures (SMCM) ships. The system consists of search and classify sonars integrated into a towed body with electronic and display consoles on-board the ship. Its detection and classification capabilities are significantly improved in comparison to earlier sonars, and provides a capability to detect, classify, and localize bottom and moored mines at safe stand-off distances. It has increased depth capability and detection ranges over the AN/SQQ-30, and has new and improved classification features. The system provides for increases in operating depth, range, coverage rates and a greatly enhanced probability of detection on a single pass. Additionally, AN/SQQ-32 independently displays search and classification information using separate classification transducers in a stabilized, variable depth body. With near-photograph quality resolution, the SQQ-32 has unprecedented capability to discriminate between actual mines and mine-like contacts. This dramatically decreases false target reporting and increases classifi-cation reliability. Its multi-beam operation increases the systemís search rate and can operate in shallow water.

Raytheon developed the AN/SQQ-32 for the US Navy. The system became operational in 1990 and is the world's most capable sonar. Original installations were on MCM 10-14 and in all MHC-51 Class ships. A development model was installed in MCM-1. It will be backfitted into MCM 2-9. Milestone III was achieved in the fourth quarter FY 1994. Currently being installed on all new-construction MHC-51 ships and for phased-replacement of the AN/SQQ-30 sonars installed on MCMs 2-9 commencing in FY 1998.

As of late 1998 AN/SQQ-32 parts support was inadequate. Ship's force currently has to CASREP or request cannibalization in order to obtain parts. Parts support at FISC and NAVICP was not sufficient to support AN/SQQ-32 system operation and maintenance requirements. The solution required increasing the amount of spares available to Fleet. Due to long lead of some parts, shortages will be alleviated by January 1999 with the exception of system power supplies which has deliveries that extend into March 1999. Established I level maintenance support at SIMA to reduce parts cost and improve repair turnaround time. NAVICP had parts (in bulk quantities) on contract with Raytheon for OBRP's and system stock. Material was scheduled to deliver through 5/99 with top side power supplies (SC7, VC7, and SC8) being the last items to be delivered.

As of late 1998 training on the AN/SQQ-32 at "C" School was inadequate. The school house utilized a non-operating mock-up and there was no Deploy/Recover assembly available contributing to the technician's inability to learn troubleshooting techniques nd perform certain tasks. Simulators available are inadequate and ineffective. Technical documentation lacked sufficient long lines to support troubleshooting requirements. Deficient level of technical knowledge to support Fleet troubleshooting requirements. Evaluate The AN/SQQ-32 curriculum was evaluated to verify terminal training objectives meet current Fleet maintenance philosophy. The solution involved the institution of a MWTC Fleet feedback format and train waterfront personnel on usage, along with improved technical documentation with respect to long lines, and improved simulators for electronic and maintenance trainers to perform hands on remove and replace procedures and Towed Body operation (deploy and recover). To support training deficiencies, CNSL and CMWC have established a designated training ship on a quarterly basis to support MWTC efforts.

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