Navy awards another production contract to Lockheed Martin for electro-optical sensor suite on AH-1Z combat helicopter

CRANE, Ind., 8 Sept. 2013. U.S. Navy helicopter avionics experts have awarded another production contract to the Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., for a multi-sensor electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) fire-control system for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter as part of the H-1 upgrades program.

Posted by John Keller
Posted by John Keller

CRANE, Ind., 8 Sept. 2013. U.S. Navy helicopter avionics experts have awarded another production contract to the Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., for a multi-sensor electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) fire-control system for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter as part of the H-1 upgrades program.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., have awarded a $34 million contract to Lockheed Martin to provide the AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems (TSS) for the AH-1Z combat helicopter.

The AN/AAQ-30 TSS comprises a large-aperture midwave forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, color TV camera, laser designator and rangefinder with eyesafe mode, and on-gimbal inertial measurement unit integrated into a stabilized turret.

The turret mounts to the nose of the aircraft via the Lockheed Martin-developed aircraft interface structure. TSS provides the capability to identify and laser-designate targets at maximum weapon range.

The Navy's H-1 upgrades program remanufactures of legacy aircraft with state-of-the-art designs incorporated into the existing fleet of AH-1W’s, converting them to AH-1Zs, Navy officials say.

The TSS provides target identification and tracking, passive targeting for integrated weapons such as Hellfire missiles, and a laser designation capability supporting U.S. and allied laser-guided weapons.

Its features include an 8.55-inch aperture, midwave staring FLIR with four fields-of-view, multi-mode and multi-target tracker with coast-through-obscuration capability; gimbal stabilized to less than 15 microradians; on-gimbal inertial measurement unit for reduced image blur due to jitter; multi-mode multi-target tracker; image processing; high-magnification continuous-zoom color TV camera with field-of-view matched to the FLIR; and cooled 640-by-512-pixel indium antimonide detector.

On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Orlando and Ocala, Fla., and should be finished by November 2015. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/mfc, or the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane at www.navsea.navy.mil/nswc/crane.

More in Military