Northrop-Built Aerial Mine Detection System Reaches Navy Initial Operational Capability

An aerial mine detection platform that Northrop Grumman built for the U.S. Navy has reached initial operational capability.

The AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System works to detect and localize underwater mines through generation of 3-D images via the platform’s pulsed laser light, Mark Skinner, vice president of directed energy at Northrop, said Thursday.

ALMDS has a sensor pod designed to perform wide-area reconnaissance in sea lanes, choke points and littoral zones and can be installed on medium-lift helicopters and other types of aircraft.

The Navy has installed the system onboard its MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.

Northrop demonstrated the ALMDS platform on a UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter earlier this year and handed the first ALMDS to Japan’s naval force in 2012 for integration with its MCH-101 helicopter under an international sales deal.

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