Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed another important step in delivering the
first Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) to the U.S. Navy by successfully completing its first operational mission as part of the Joint Forces Command
's Exercise, Millennium Challenge 2002.
On Aug. 1 and 2, ASDS Boat 1 successfully delivered SEALs and their equipment during nighttime exercises to a precise drop-off point
off the coast of Hawaii. Additionally, lock-out operations were completed, enabling the submerged departure of SEALs and their equipment. The last step was submerged recovery of SEALs at mission
completion. The ASDS performed exactly as planned and participants praised the achievement.
"This first-of-its-kind system provides a new level of operational capability to our SEAL forces in high-threat areas," said Fran Holian, vice president of Northrop Grumman Oceanic and Naval Systems. The business unit produced the ASDS for the Navy's Special Operations Command.
"These key milestones in the development of this important program will help ensure our naval forces continue to have the most technologically advanced equipment for today's critical missions."
Since December 2001, Boat 1 has successfully completed an aggressive schedule of testing designed to demonstrate the capabilities
of the ASDS and prepare it for an operational evaluation in mid-2003.
Recent testing has included docking and launching maneuvers on a stationary primary host simulator that replicates the mating structures on a host submarine, demonstrating submerged anchoring
ability, and conducting diver lock-in/lock-out operations. These tests continue to prepare Boat 1 for dynamic launch and recovery operations
from USS Greeneville (SSN-772) in the fall of 2002.