Longbow Missile Scores 100 Percent in Japanese Defense Agency Operational Evaluation
ORLANDO, FL, 27-MAR-07 --
Longbow HELLFIRETM missiles achieved a 100 percent target hit rate in a live-fire exercise at Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ. This exercise was a key element in the Japanese Defense Agency’s Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) tests of its newly acquired LongbowTM weapon system.
During OPEVAL, Japanese pilots and gunners in Apaches executed typical scenarios such as: engaging a stationary tank target, with the Fire Control Radar (FCR) providing target data handover; engaging a stationary tank target, with remote target data handover from another Apache’s FCR; and engaging a stationary tank target in strong headwinds, with the Lockheed Martin Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system, known as Arrowhead®, providing target data for the handover.
The live-fire exercise proved the Longbow missile’s operational capability with the FCR and other targeting systems, as well as its ability to strike targets at maximum range in adverse conditions.
“These highly successful missile test firings perpetuate the Longbow missile’s near-perfect track record for reliably scoring target hits,” said Andy Marshall, international program manager for Air-to-Ground Missile Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Its outstanding fire-and-forget legacy continues to provide enhanced lethality and survivability.”
Longbow International (LBI), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), manufactures the Longbow system, which is comprised of a FCR, a fire-and-forget millimeter wave-guided missile, and the all-digital M299 launcher for the AH-64 Apache helicopter.
The Japanese Defense Agency, which selected Apache helicopters in 2001 and entered into a licensed production program with LBI for Longbow FCRs, conducted the OPEVAL testing to support a planned procurement of Longbow missiles. A procurement announcement is expected in 2007, with first delivery in 2008.
The Longbow fire-and-forget missile allows the Apache to launch from a shielded location and in adverse weather and battlefield obscurants, increasing aircrew survivability. The missile can lock on to a target before or after launch and has been extensively tested against multiple countermeasures. Its unique Doppler beam-sharpening technology significantly enhances the probability of mission success.
The Longbow FCR, used in conjunction with a radio frequency interferometer (RFI), provides high performance with very low probability of intercept. The FCR rapidly and automatically searches, detects, locates, classifies and prioritizes multiple moving and stationary targets on land, air and water in all weather and battlefield conditions to the maximum range of the Longbow missile (8 kilometers). The self-contained RFI allows accurate determination of the direction to enemy air defense units, allowing the opportunity for preemptive suppression from standoff range or evasion.
The Lockheed Martin Arrowhead Modernized TADS/PNVS 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, multiple-code 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 air crew.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 125,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.