Wescam cuts weight on new sensing turret
The Wescam division of L-3 Communications is here with the first installation of its new MX-15i imaging turret installed on a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency S-92 located at the Sikorsky booth. The S-92 installation was done by Sikorsky’s Keystone Helicopter division. The UK Coastguard purchased another MX-15i, and AgustaWestland has ordered two.
The current MX-15, a staple of search-and-rescue helicopters, has a separate master control unit (MCU)–external to the turret–that weighs about 50 pounds. The MX-15i integrates the MCU electronics into the turret, eliminating 47 pounds while adding slightly less than half an inch to the height of the turret. Total MX-15i weight, including MCU electronics, is about 98 pounds.
Operators can select up to six sensors for the MX-15 series, including infrared imager, one- or three-CCD daylight camera with zoom lens, daylight camera with spotter lens or dual-channel spotter lens, MX-Night Spotter (dual channel), laser rangefinder and laser illuminator. Up to seven analog video channels are available in the customer’s choice of formats (NTSC or PAL).
While the MX-15i is competitively priced compared with the regular MX-15, Wescam plans to keep producing the MX-15 as some applications are more suited to the system with the separate MCU.