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Japan orders laser mine detection systems

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Illustrative view of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force MCH-101 helicopter equipped with Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS). Photo: Northrop Grumman.

TOKYO and MELBOURNE (BNS): The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has purchased Northrop Grumman's four helicopter-mountable, laser mine detection systems.

The Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) will help protect its coastline and the daily maritime traffic coming in and out of the country's ports.

"ALMDS will enable the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to cover significant distances at the speed of flight using its MCH-101 aircraft. This technology dramatically compresses the time between mine detection and neutralisation," Donna Carson-Jelley, ALMDS programme manager for the US Navy said in a statement.

ALMDS keeps mine countermeasures ahead of the threats. The mine detection system is laser-based and utilizes streak tube imaging light detection and ranging (LIDAR) to detect, classify and localize near-surface moored sea mines.

Northrop Grumman is working closely with its industry partners Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., and Fujitsu Limited on the delivery and installation of ALMDS.

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