Comanche Sensor System Meets First Hardware Delivery Milestone
ORLANDO, FL, 24-OCT-01 --
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has completed its first contractual delivery of engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) hardware for the Army's RAH-66 Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter. Lockheed Martin shipped its Night Vision Pilotage System (NVPS) and support structure to Comanche's mission equipment package integrator, The Boeing Company in Philadelphia, which will supply Comanche to the Army with its partner, Sikorsky Aircraft. This event, in early October, marked the first delivery of a flightworthy sensor for the Comanche helicopter.
This initial hardware delivery represents a major milestone for us, said Bob Costello, director of the electro-optical sensor system (EOSS) program at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando. Over the past several months, we have demonstrated the new sensor to more than 20 high-ranking Army visitors, and they have all been very pleased with its performance. They described the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imagery as 'world-class,' and they said 'it should be in the hands of the Army aviators as soon as possible.'
The NVPS completed safety-of-flight testing in Orlando before shipment to Boeing's System Integration Laboratory (SIL) in Philadelphia where the EOSS hardware will be used to support mission integration activities. After successful SIL testing, the unit will return to Lockheed Martin in Orlando where it will be instrumented to collect data during flight tests. Following instrumentation, the system will be sent to Sikorsky's facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. for installation on the Comanche helicopter for more flight testing.
After successful testing in Palm Beach, the NVPS will again be in Orlando to be mated with the Electro-Optical Target Acquisition and Designation Sensor (EOTADS) that will comprise the first deliverable all-up flightworthy EOSS.
The new targeting FLIR was previously tested on a Blackhawk helicopter, according to Costello. By getting the EO system into the air more than two years before its initial Comanche flight tests, we achieved significant technical risk reductions for the program. The NVPS was also proven in tests on an AH-64 Apache helicopter as part of the Comanche Risk Reduction program.
As part of an on-going horizontal technology integration effort between the Apache Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (TADS/PNVS) and Comanche EOSS, the NVPS delivery is a significant step in the evolution of Lockheed Martin's multi-platform FLIR technology. The Lockheed Martin NVPS, a true 2nd generation system, is the best navigation and pilotage FLIR for rotary wing aircraft.
Employing more than 8,500 people, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with additional base operations in Orlando, Fla., and manufacturing and assembly facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif., Chelmsford, Mass., Camden, Ark., Horizon City and Lufkin, Texas, Ocala, Fla., White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and Troy, Ala. The company is a business unit of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Bethesda, Md.