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 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.