Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
12 January 2017
Also Known As: Airborne Laser Mine Detection System
Origin: United States of America
Arete Associates, CPI Aero, Curtiss-Wright, Cutting Edge Optronics, Meggitt Defense Systems and Northrop Grumman* (*) lead contractor
Parent System: AN/AES-1 ALMDS
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 12 January 2017
Total Production: 49
Total Cost: USD$255 million
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Description: The Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) is an organic mine detection system designed for integration onto rotary wing aircraft such as the US Navy's MH-60S and/or any other MH-60 series aircraft. The US Navy awarded the ALMDS development contract to Northrop-Grumman in 2000 and the development and demonstration concluded in (June?) 2005. The system uses LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) blue-green laser technology to detect, classify and localize mines in shallow waters. The system has been demonstrated effective against floating and near-surface moored sea mines. Once deployed, it will allow surface ships to maneuver through clear sea lanes.
The ALMDS will be one of five sensor systems originally selected for the MH-60S' Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) capability. In addition, this sea mine clearance system has been selected for integration onto the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine-warfare mission module. The system is deployed inside external pods of equipment mounted on a rotary wing aircraft.
In June 2005, the US Navy cleared the ALMDS for the production phase after completing successfully the development and demonstration phase. It is expected that 57 ALMDS systems will be procured by the US Navy between 2005 and 2011. The overall program was valued at $200 million. On 7 September 2005, Northrop-Grumman was awarded a $124 million contract for three low rate initial production AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection Systems (ALMDS).�Systems deliveries to the US Navy were expected to be complete before February 2010.
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