Japan has selected Northrop Grumman's AQS-24A airborne mine-hunting system for its AgustaWestland MCH101 (AW101) helicopters.

Under the deal Northrop will deliver the system to Kawasaki Heavy Industries for integration into the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force aircraft, the US company said.

The AQS-24A is already operational with the US Navy, where it is mainly towed by the Sikorsky MH-53E helicopter.

It has been "easily adapted" for integration with the MCH101, Northrop added.

 MCH101 - AgustaWestland

© AgustaWestland

Japan's navy has so far received four MCH101 helicopters

The AQS-24A includes a laser line scanner that can locate underwater mines and other objects. It can also be used at the same time as its host aircraft's sonar to detect threats.

Japan has so far taken delivery of four MCH101s, with two CH101 transports also having been accepted, according to Flightglobal's HeliCAS database.

Source: Flight International