In December 2014, the U.S. Navy issued a contract to Northrop Grumman to deliver five additional Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) systems. The contract also includes five subsequent options to deliver follow-on Full Rate Production (FRP) systems at a maximum order quantity of four systems per option. CPI Aero will manufacture pod structural housings under this new contract, with deliveries scheduled to commence in early 2016. The period of performance of the entire CPI Aero contract, including option periods, is through 2021.
Since 2005, CPI Aero has delivered 18 ALMDS pod structural housings for the U.S. Navy's LRIP Phases 1 through 4 and other Foreign sales. Northrop Grumman's ALMDS is part of the mine countermeasure mission package on the U.S. Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship and is designed to find and geolocate mine-like objects in waters near the ocean's surface, where aircraft carriers and expeditionary strike groups must operate.
The ALMDS is mounted on an MH-60S helicopter. The pod structural housings to be built by CPI Aero are pressurized and contain the thermally conditioned ALMDS laser and electronics.
Northrop Grumman AN AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) integrated into the MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter.