Monday, April 3, 2017

New sensor platform increases situational awareness

New sensor platform increases situational awareness: The Navy has taken a step forward in deploying a new mine-detection sensor platform. The helicopter-borne array should give operators a way to glean situational awareness around nautical mines from a safe stand-off distance.

The Navy recently announced initial operational capability for the AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, or ALMDS. Mounted on MH-60 helicopters, the system delivers rapid wide-area assessment of mine threats in sea lanes, littoral zones, confined straits, choke points and amphibious areas of operations.

This latest development supports the Navy’s ongoing effort to get smarter and more efficient about mine detection at sea.

“Our primary hunting, sweep and neutralization systems must be replaced with new technologies that will do the time consuming, dangerous, and dirty work,” Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens, director of expeditionary warfare, said in a Navy news release.

Northrop Grumman Corporation says it has delivered 15 of 38 systems to the Navy, and the deployment among littoral combat ships will begin this year.