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Sun, Apr 24, 2005

Fire Scout UAV Contract Grows

Find Mines From Above

Good news for Northrop Grumman came earlier this week, as the company announced that their "Fire Scout" program is expanding from $55 million to $81 million. It's even better news for the troops in the field.

The official name for the program is ASTAMIDS, Airbone Standoff Minefield Detection System. The machine could already use advanced sensors to detect land mines. Now, it will be able to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) and target designation applications.

Our baseline counter-mine design included some inherent RSTA capability in the original proposal," said Dave Gilbert, ASTAMIDS program manager, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems in a news release. "This program expansion leverages those inherent capabilities with a tracking and designation capability to fulfill both counter-mine and RSTA missions for the U.S. Army."

When fielded, ASTAMIDS will detect patterned surface-emplaced mines, patterned recently buried mines and randomly scattered mines. The sensors have the capability to detect obstacles, combat vehicles and other combat targets, including camouflaged targets. The Army is developing change-detection algorithms, which will be inserted into the Future Combat System program, to address improvised explosive devices and single on-route mines by processing ASTAMIDS imagery.

FMI: www.northropgrumman.com

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