AN/AES-1 ALMDS reaches IOC
Initial Operational Capability (IOC) has been reached for the US Navy’s AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS), system manufacturer Northrop Grumman announced on 12 January.
ALMDS has been designed to provide rapid wide-area reconnaissance and assessment of mine threats in maritime operations. The helicopter-mounted pod uses pulsed laser light technology to rapidly sweep the water. The light generates 3-D images of the near-surface volume to detect, classify and localise near-surface moored sea mines, with target data displayed on a console and stored for post-mission analysis.
The navy’s ALMDS installation aboard the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter is mounted on a Bomb Rack Unit 14, which is installed on the carriage, stream, tow, and recovery system. The system’s self-contained design allows for rapid installation on other aircraft types and removal after the mission is complete.
The system has been integrated and demonstrated on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter; and has been sold to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, which has qualified the system on its MCH-101 helicopter.
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