Northrop Grumman's Maritime and Tactical Systems Integrated Product Team early this summer started a series of flight tests of the airborne laser mine-detection system (ALMDS), a key mine-countermeasures (MCM) sensor system to be integrated within the mine-countermeasures module for the Navy's new littoral combat ship (LCS).
The testing, carried out at the company's Panama City, Florida, site, represents ALMDS developmental testing and will consist of about 40 test flights scheduled for completion this year. The system will operate on board the Navy's MH-60S Seahawk helicopter from the LCS.
Northrop Grumman won a January 2006 Navy contract to act as prime contractor for overall systems integration for the three LCS warfighting mission modules, one of which will be configured for MCM and the other two for surface-warfare and antisubmarine warfare missions. In the Navy's LCS operational concept, ships will be fitted out with one of the three modules based on their assigned missions. Following mission completion, the module may be replaced with one of the other two modules as required.