NEW APACHE SYSTEMS MAKE THEIR DEBUT
18 Aug 08. The Lockheed Martin /Northrop Grumman Longbow Unmanned Aerial Systems Tactical Common Data Link Assembly (UTA) and Lockheed Martin’s Arrowhead® modernized target acquisition/night vision sensor debuted during the first flight of the U.S. Army’s AH-64 Apache Block III attack helicopter. These systems enhance the Warfighters’ ability to engage targets more effectively and at a safer distance.
The Longbow Weapon System is produced by the Longbow Limited Liability Company (LBL), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, and is comprised of a Fire Control Radar (FCR), a fire-and-forget millimeter wave-guided HELLFIRE missile and the all-digital M299 Launcher.
The Longbow UTA is a derivative system of the combat-proven Longbow FCR. Its visual signature and aerodynamics are identical to the FCR. The Longbow UTA is a two-way, high-bandwidth data link for Apache aircrews. UTA Apache aircrews can exercise up to Level 4 control of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at long ranges and can receive high-quality UAS imagery on their multi-purpose displays.
The Lockheed Martin Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system, known as Arrowhead, features both day and night sensor assemblies. The new, advanced targeting FLIR sensor uses SADA 1 technology and has three fields of view, a multi-target tracker, laser spot tracking and internal boresight. A charge-coupled device camera improves day TV viewing, and the TADS electronic display and control unit (TEDAC) cockpit panel improves target resolution, situational awareness and survivable space for the aircrew.
“We always look forward to putting new state-of-the-art capabilities into the hands of our Warfighters. Arrowhead and Longbow UTA provide just that,” said Robert Gunning, vice president for Apache Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Longbow UTA has proven to be very successful in simulation testing, and will be in operational testing in the near-term. The combat-proven Arrowhead system has been operational since 2005. Both systems’ outstanding integrated capabilities enhance Apache lethality and crew survivability while reducing pilot workload and adding new battlefield capabilities.”