The UK Ministry of Defence has finally signed off on the Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air system for the British Army, awarding the system a formal Release to Service. The RTS award brings to an end a process to certificate the Watchkeeper for military service that has dragged on approximately three years longer than originally anticipated.
Elbit Systems is launching two new products here at Heli-Expo. The first, SkyVis, combines Elbit’s proven helmet-mounted display (HMD) with commercially certifiable line-of-sight and daytime head-up display capabilities, day or night, with or without night-vision goggles (NVG), in all phases of flight and in marginal weather.
Elbit also is unveiling Clearvision Heli EVS, a multi-spectral enhanced vision system designed for helicopters that provides improved situational awareness. Heli EVS builds on the company’s Clearvision EVS system designed for business jets.
Elbit Systems is launching two new products this week at Heli-Expo: SkyVis and Clearvision Heli EVS. SkyVis combines Elbit’s helmet-mounted display with commercially certifiable line-of-sight and daytime head-up display capabilities, day or night, with or without night-vision goggles, in all phases of flight and in marginal weather. Clearvision Heli EVS is a multi-spectral enhanced vision system designed for helicopters that provides improved situational awareness. It offers a 35-degree field of view and is designed to help pilots cope with low-visibility conditions.
As concern over the jamming of GPS signals grows, Elbit Systems (Booth N65) announced that it had sold its iSNS immunity system to an unspecified Asia Pacific country for installation on maritime surveillance aircraft. The Israeli company claims that the system provides full jamming immunity for multiple satellite channels and handles multiple interfering signals and/or jammers operating on concurrent frequencies. ISNS is very flexible and can work with all types of GPS, without prior knowledge of satellite locations, Elbit says.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which the Pentagon has identified as an F-35 program risk.
Vision system manufacturer Intevac Photonics of Santa Clara, Calif., planned to begin deliveries of new night-vision cameras for U.S. Army AH-64D/E helicopters this month, after receiving its largest-ever contract award from the service earlier this year.
The M611 camera, which contains the company’s ISIE (intevac silicon imaging engine) 11 sensor for low light level detection, replaces the existing camera in the Apache’s nose-mounted pilot night vision sensor (PNVS). The ISIE 11 sensor is also being integrated in the F-35 helmet-mounted display system (HMDS).
The Elisra passive airborne warning system (PAWS-2) has been selected for the Gripen fighter. Elbit, Elisra’s parent Israeli company, said that the system was selected “following a comprehensive in-depth evaluation and testing in various scenarios as well as in a comparative live fire test.”
Late last week, Romanian defense minister Mircea Dusa signed the contract for a €600 million ($817 million) deal to acquire 12 Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM fighters from Portugal. An initial installment was paid at the same time. The acquisition of F-16s will finally allow Romania to operate NATO-compatible aircraft, and also brings to an end a long-running saga to provide a replacement for the dwindling LanceR fleet of upgraded MiG-21s.
The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) halted the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) for the Joint Strike Fighter, signaling the resolution of a potentially serious technical complication the program faced.
Elbit Systems of America is supplying an upgraded, second-generation joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS II) for Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers and is promoting the system for operators of its first-generation JHMCS 1 and new users. The company featured the JHMCS II at this year’s Paris Air Show.
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