Heli-Expo 2014 brings big news for Idaho-based Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Booth No. 802). On the heels of its announcement that the company has completed its 800th night vision cockpit modification, including exterior high intensity LED navigation lights and aft cabin lighting just before the show (an AW139 for Construction Helicopters), it also announced that it has a new v-p and chief technology officer, Dr. Joseph Estrera.
Civilian operators that work in combat environments now have an option to equip their helicopters with electronic warfare devices that can detect incoming missiles and launch chaff and/or flare countermeasures. Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG, Booth No. 1206) recently signed an agreement with Switzerland-based Ruag Schweiz to provide integration and qualification services for Ruag’s Integrated Self-Protection System (ISSYS) Plug-on-Device (POD) for use in the civil aviation market.
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.
Saab (Booth C11) has many years of experience devising protection systems for combat aircraft, and here at Singapore 2014 it is showing its latest offering, the ESTL. Formerly known as BOH, it is a modular system that draws on several of the company’s successful missile warning and countermeasures systems to create a cost-efficient means of protecting combat aircraft against current and predicted infrared and radar-guided missile threats.
Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Booth N51) has unveiled a new system to tackle short-range mortar and rocket threats, and close-in air threats such as UAVs. Rather than employing a projectile to destroy incoming threats, the new Iron Beam system uses a high-energy laser (HEL).
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 pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.
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).
Late last month Raytheon announced that it had received contracts worth $71.7 million to continue upgrading its Patriot air and missile defense system for the U.S. Army. The latest contracts, which add a modernized radar digital processor (RDP) and modern man station (MMS), highlight the continuous development that is being applied to the Patriot to keep it at the forefront of the air defense arena. The Patriot system has now conducted 2,500 search and track tests, and around 1,000 flight tests.
Eurofighter has signed a new development contract with the four European partner nations for the Typhoon. The Evolution Package 2 (EP2) comprises various improvements to the combat jet’s avionics. Two days earlier, EADS Cassidian said that flight testing of an earlier set of improvements had been completed.
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