UV - Unmanned Vehicles

COBRA airborne mine detection system ready for low rate initial production

28th April 2009 - 10:26 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Northrop Grumman Corporation has received Milestone "C" approval from the U.S. Department of Defense, Program Executive Office, Littoral and Mine Warfare (PEO LMW) for its Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system, which was designed to support U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault breaching operations.

Following Milestone "C," PEO LMW will move the COBRA system toward Low-Rate Initial Production. COBRA is a designated mission system on the Mine Warfare Mission Package onboard the Littoral Combat Ship.

One of four systems in Northrop Grumman's airborne mine countermeasures systems product line, COBRA is designed to detect and localize minefields patterns and other obstacles from the beach exit zone through the surf-zone, safely, from the air, prior to amphibious assaults, to help assure Marines have access to their targets. COBRA will be carried by an MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Air Vehicle (VTUAV). Other system components include a post-mission analysis station and the ground control station for the VTUAV.

"Our ultimate goal with COBRA -- and all our mine-countermeasures systems -- is to get the Marines and sailors and soldiers out of the minefields and facilitate assured access," said Bob Klein, vice president for Maritime and Tactical Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "COBRA's performance in development tells us that we are much closer to that goal.

"The COBRA System recently completed laboratory integration and flight test. Results show COBRA meets or exceeds all key performance parameters -- exceeding threshold and in some cases objective performance. We are proud of the successful efforts of PEO-LMW PMS 495, NSWC Panama City and the Northrop Grumman industry team and look forward to getting this innovative capability to our warfighters."

Key industry team members include: Apogen Technologies (QinetiQ North America), San Diego, Calif.; Arete Associates, Niceville, Fla.; GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, Albuquerque, N.M.; L-3 Communications Sonoma EO, Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Vanguard Rugged Storage, Boulder, Colo.

Other airborne mine countermeasures systems being developed by Northrop Grumman are the Navy's Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) and the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) and the U.S. Army's Airborne Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Minefield Detection System (ASTAMIDS).

Source: Northrop Grumman

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