SAIC (SAI) Wins Contract to Support Japanese Mine Warfare Efforts

by: Matthew Potter
November 9, 2012

Category: Agusta Westland, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, Events, Finemeccanica, Japan, Military Aviation, production program, SAIC | RSS 2.0

EH101 operated by the Italian Navy.

SAIC (SAI) has been awarded a contract by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to provide software system to aid in sea mine clearance operations. The JSMDF contract did not have a value reported but is related to the purchase of the Mine Warfare and Environmental Decision Aids Library(MEDAL) system along with training support.

The JMSDF operates Augusta westland AW101 helicopters for this mission. The varient they use is referred to as the MCH-101.

MEDAL provides a system to design mine clearance missions as well as evaluation and training support. It contains data on water depth, bottom characteristics, current as well as seawater physical properties. A discussion of MEDAL may be found in this paper from the Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources.

The Japanese has equipped their MCH-101 with a set of sensors to support mine warfare including side scan sonar, laser detection and acoustic minesweepers. Under the agreement with AW the aircraft are assembled in Japan and major components are manufactured there. Japan as a maritime nation does face a mine warfare threat as demonstrated by the U.S. in 1944-1945 with an aerial mining program.

Photo courtesy of Jerry Gunner’s flickr photostream.

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