Lockheed Martin and SENER Introduce New FLIR...Beats Current Technology...By Far
PARIS , FRANCE, June 14th, 1999 -- A superior, cost effective FLIR retrofit that will greatly improve the F/A-18's strike capability is available today, according to Lockheed Martin and Spanish partner, SENER. Technology, ready for production now, was introduced at the Paris Air Show today. The new FLIR technology developed by Lockheed Martin, in partnership with SENER, provides the F/A-18s the increased standoff range required by modern rules of engagement. Imagery of the new FLIR capability showed an astounding, long-range difference between currently deployed technology and the new capability. "For the over 1,200 F/A-18s around the world, the new technology is available now," said Fred Marion, vice president of fire control systems for Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles. "It will greatly enhance the long range performance and capability of the current system. It's a technology that's needed now, and with our new partnership with SENER we're ready for production."
Lockheed Martin and SENER also announced at the Paris Air Show that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles and SENER. This MOU forms the basis for the two companies to join in a strategic partnership to develop and produce advanced electro-optical (EO) and electronic systems which will enhance fighter aircraft precision strike capabilities and overcome many combat limitations faced by combat pilots today.
This long term business arrangement is a direct outgrowth of the companies work on the new third generation NITE Hawk Block III system, a cost-effective product improvement that will allow NITE Hawk users to meet the more demanding operational needs of modern rules of engagement. The Block III system replaces the current first generation FLIR with a new third generation FLIR through very minor modifications to the NITE Hawk system, thus significantly reducing the logistics impact to current users.
"This modern sensor will improve the ability of the warfighter to detect and identify targets at much greater ranges and in more adverse weather than is currently available to pilots in Kosovo today," explained Marion.
The Lockheed Martin and SENER partnership brings together the strengths of both companies including over 30 years of Lockheed Martin experience in the development and production of the majority of the world's most advanced EO fire control systems for both fixed and rotary wing combat aircraft. SENER's background in advanced electronics, complex satellite systems and EO systems design complements that of Lockheed Martin. The combination offers the world a formidable team with a proven track record and a global presence.
"This new IR sensor technology has been integrated into all of Lockheed Martin's current and future EO systems," said Terry L. Schultz, Electronics & Missiles' program manger of the NITE Hawk Laser Designator System. "We have shown that third generation IR sensors can be easily retrofitted into our current FLIR products, such as LANTIRN and NITE Hawk, and are the basis for our future systems, such as PANTERA. All three have been flown in production configuration pods proving the value of higher-resolution imagery to the combat fighter pilot." The mature design of the NITE Hawk Block III system is ready for production now. Its superior performance has been verified during successful flight tests by tactical aircrews on combat aircraft under typical operational conditions.
The Block III system offers increased sensitivity, increased resolution, and enhanced target detection with improved reliability. Operational enhancements include increased standoff range, increased situational awareness and reduced pilot workload.
The modular design of the NITE Hawk Block III system allows simple retrofit of the third generation FLIR into the world's existing inventory of NITE Hawk pods including Spain, Canada, Australia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Switzerland, and the U.S. Navy.
Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles is a world leader in electro-optics, smart munitions, anti armor and air defense systems. The company is an operating element of Lockheed Martin Electronics Sector, based in Bethesda, Maryland.
SENER is one of the first engineering companies in Spain, established in Biscay, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Stuttgart (Germany). SENER has an substantial background in the field of space and aeronautical engineering and has performed projects for national and international customers in technologies related to in jet engines, nozzle and inlet design, combustion studies, space mechanisms, guidance navigation and control systems, thermofluid dynamics, electronics and electro-optics. Presently, an important part of the activity in SENER is focused on applying advanced technologies in order to carry out high-quality, innovative aeronautical projects. SENER is a shareholder of space and aeronautical companies Arianespace and ITP. More information about SENER can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sener.es/