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South Korea picks US manufacturer for Airborne Laser Mine Detection System

Photo: Northrop Grumman

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has deepened ties with US defense firm Northrop Grumman, granting them a contract for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS).

KAI has chosen Northrop Grumman to provide ALMDS solutions and technical assistance during South Korea’s Korean Mine Countermeasures Helicopter program’s Engineering, Manufacturing, and Design phase.

According to a statement from Northrop Grumman, the ALMDS can conduct unrestricted day or night operations, enabling it to achieve high area search rates. It also provides precise target geolocation for subsequent mine neutralization efforts. The program’s Engineering, Manufacturing, and Design phase is anticipated to conclude in 2027.

Janice Zilch, the Vice President of Multi-Domain Command and Control (MDC2) programs at Northrop Grumman, stated, “Our strategic partnership with KAI to introduce ALMDS technology to the KMCH program builds on our decades of commitment to deliver advanced solutions that support the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense.”

Chang-heon Han, the Executive Vice President of Korea Aerospace Industries’ Rotary Wing Division, emphasized that the program will strengthen the strategic partnership between South Korean and U.S. defense companies.

He stated, “The mission of ALMDS is to detect, classify, and localize floating and near-surface moored mines rapidly. KAI is confident that the integration of ALMDS will substantially enhance the Republic of Korea’s Navy mine detection capabilities.”

According to KAI, the Mine Countermeasure Helicopter is a medium-class helicopter derived from the Marine Utility Helicopter. It is equipped with mine countermeasure systems and is capable of detecting and neutralizing naval mine threats while securing sea lines and harbors. Additionally, the helicopter can perform secondary missions like naval combat support tasks.