MELBOURNE, Fla., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman's AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System has achieved initial operational capability with the U.S. Navy.
The Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, or ALMDS, is a sensor pod manufactured by Northrop Grumman to improve mine detection capabilities for naval platforms. Company officials say the delivery of the system will make Navy personnel safer during deployment.
"With Initial Operational Capability, the ALMDS program has delivered a new and important capability to the Navy and to our nation -- the first of its kind for mine warfare," assistant program manager Erik Maskelony said in a press release.
The ALMDS is a sensor pod designed to integrate with naval-deployed rotary-wing aircraft. The pod uses laser technology to scan and detect naval mines.
"Using forward motion of the aircraft, ALMDS' pulsed laser light generates 3-D images of the near-surface volume to detect, classify and localize near-surface moored sea mines," Northrop Grumman directed energy vice president Mark Skinner added. "Highly accurate in day or night operations, the untethered ALMDS sensor conducts rapid wide-area searches with high accuracy."
The product has been demonstrated on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter in addition to an MH-60 Seahawk, but can be installed on other aircraft types.