Northrop Airborne System Aims to Find Undersea Mines; Tom Jones Comments

northrop grumman logoNorthrop Grumman has handed the Japanese navy one of four minehunting systems the service has ordered for a new helicopter fleet.

AQS-24A minehunters contains a laser line detector that works to help Japan’s MCH-101 helicopter pilots detect underwater mines, Northrop said Tuesday.

The U.S. Navy has used the AQS technology family for 29 years and primarily carries the systems on its MH-53E helicopters.

Tom Jones, Northrop vice president for undersea systems, said the systems aim to detect mines from the surface to the bottom of the sea.

“The effort marks the first complete build of an AQS-24A since eight were delivered to the U.S. Navy in 1995,” Jones added.

Northrop intends for the AQS-24A to help operators use the laser and sonar at the same time and the system’s navigation technology aims to position each target.

The company expects to deliver Japan’s first airborne laser mine detection system to the country later this summer for use in conjunction with the AQS-24A.

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