Bell Helicopters (Booth No. N5612) and BAE Systems announced the successful qualification of BAE’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) on the Bell 407GT. The APKWS technology transforms a standard 2.75-inch rocket Hydra-type unguided rocket into a laser-guided precision weapon able to strike soft and lightly armored targets in built-up and confined areas. BAE Systems designed the APKWS technology to fill the gap between the Hellfire missile and unguided rockets. The company is the prime contractor for the program, which is managed by the Navy.
Israel-headquartered Elbit Systems has announced a series of successful flight tests on a system designed to protect large jet aircraft against shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles (Manpads, or man-portable air-defense systems). Designated C-Music, the defensive equipment was tested on board a Boeing 707.
C-Music, for commercial multi-spectral infrared countermeasures, is part of the company’s line of directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) solutions for protecting all types of aircraft from heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles in all operational conditions.
During World War II, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” was a familiar slogan on both sides of the Atlantic at a time when German U-boats (U for unterwasserboot, submarine) were wreaking a deadly toll on cargo vessels transporting Allied supplies from North America to the beleaguered British Isles.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) approved full-rate production of the Sniper advanced targeting pod under its ATP-Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) program, manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced on January 16. In November, the service approved full-rate production of Northrop Grumman’s Litening pod under the same program.
The U.S. Army plans to acquire up to 7,000 advanced, “software-defined” radios for its helicopters in a successor program to the disbanded Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) effort. In a recent notice, the service said it will issue draft performance requirements for the Small Airborne Networking Radio (SANR) program this month, followed by a draft request for proposals in the summer.
Accord Technology’s NexNav mini GPS receiver is now available to provide the GPS solution for Trig’s TT31 ADS-B out transponder. The combination of the NexNav mini and Trig TT31 meets the FAA’s 2020 ADS-B out mandate, which requires a GPS source that meets specific accuracy requirements (TSO-C145c Class Beta 1). The TT31 retails for $3,349 and with the NexNav mini is installable under an approved model list in a variety of aircraft. The NexNav mini costs $5,775. Flight-testing was done in a Mooney M20.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and the U.S. Army have demonstrated a precision-guided mortar for use on small UAVs. The test, conducted under the Army’s Air Drop Mortar program, was intended to show a rapid target response capability sought by the Army, Marine Corps and special forces.
Lockheed Martin has revealed details of its new Ku-band imaging and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar, describing it as a next-generation system for small air vehicle applications, manned or unmanned. Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) division has named it Asars-3, reflecting the company’s heritage as developer of the first advanced synthetic aperture radar system for the SR-71 Blackbird. Asars-2 was another X-band system, developed for the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft by Raytheon.
Northrop Grumman has improved the range and reduced the weight of its AN/ZPY-1 StarLite multimode surveillance radar, which the company is proposing as a sensor for the U.S. Army’s RQ-7B Shadow, the Navy’s future MQ-8C Fire Scout and other manned and unmanned aircraft.
Photographs have recently appeared on Chinese Internet sites showing a Xian Y-7 transport aircraft that has been heavily modified to serve as a testbed for a carrier-borne airborne early warning and control (AEW) aircraft. These recent photos follow one that appeared in May 2011, which provided the first grainy visual evidence of development of a “Chinese Hawkeye” by Xian.