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AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS)

The AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) detects, classifies and localizes near-surface, moored sea mines. The ALMDS is integrated with the MH-60S helicopter to provide rapid wide-area reconnaissance and assessment of mine threats in littoral zones, confined straits, choke points and amphibious objective areas. The ALMDS will be embarked as part of the mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package (MP) on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The ALMDS pod consists of nine sub-systems: Central Electronics Chassis (CEC), Laser Transmitter Unit (LTU), Laser Electrical Unit (LEU), Pod Pressurization System (PPS), Environmental Control System (ECS), Power Distribution Unit (PDU), four Receiver Sensor Assemblies (RSA), Hardware Control Unit (HCU) and pod housing.

The pod is mechanically attached to the MH-60S with a standard Bomb Rack Unit 14 (BRU-14) mount and electrically via a primary and auxiliary umbilical cable to the operator console. Connection from the system to the common console allows data generated by ALMDS to be displayed on the console and stored on a mass memory unit for post-mission analysis.
The ALMDS passed Milestone C in May 2005 and was approved for low-rate initial production (LRIP). In 2012, ALMDS completed operational assessment on the Navy's MH-60S helicopter. In 2015, ALMDS completed testing with the MCM MP and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in the first quarter of FY17.

The U.S. Navy has needs to rapidly detect, classify and localize near-surface, moored sea mines. The ALMDS will be the first system to provide such a capability to the Navy.
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
General Characteristics
Primary Function: The ALMDS is a laser-based system utilizing Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technologies to detect, classify, and localize near-surface moored sea mines. The system is mounted on the MH-60S helicopter and will be deployed from the Littoral Combat Ship providing a revolutionary, high area coverage rate capability. ALMDS is not a towed system, thereby reducing risk to the aircraft crew and removing the human from the minefield.
Contractor: Northrop Grumman
Date Deployed: Operational Assessment completed August 2012. Nine LRIPs delivered, LRIP Lot 4 in fabrication (three additional systems) with delivery in 3QFY14
Last Update: 23 November 2016