Posted by John McHale
WASHINGTON, 30 Oct. 2010. FLIR Systems successfully test fired the TALON LD (laser designator), a nine-inch operational turret, for a U.S. military supplier. The LD thermal design validated FLIR's engineering objective for unrestricted laser firing operation with high ambient temperatures without the use of an internal fan in the turret sensor unit, FLIR Systems officials say.
The TALON LD was tested for three days and nights with numerous data points collected by the U.S. government using various NATO standard target arrays at specified distances. A Hellfire semi-active laser seeker confirmed pulse repetition frequency code data points during the simulated live fire tests. The LD exhibited excellent boresight retention, precise beam divergence with 'Gaussian' characteristics, and a measured higher power output, FLIR Systems officials say. The LD is diode-pumped with the latest technology updates and equipped with in-flight auto boresight capability, resulting in a compact laser module design.
"The TALON LD is fully compliant with NATO standards for operation to include laser guided rockets, Hellfire and other munitions required by U.S. allies," says Darrell Kindley, vice president and general manager of Boston operations for FLIR Systems. "For customers situated in high temperature environments, the TALON LD will provide unparalleled performance and can remove an additional 60-80 lbs off the nose of light attack helicopters -- meaning more fuel for mission or more armament for firepower on target."
The TALON LD is a light weight less than 40 pounds -- electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor which can accommodate as many as seven payloads. In addition to the EO, 640 x 480 IR and the new state-of-the-art LD module, available options include EMCCD low light, tactical laser rangefinder (LRF), eye-safe LRF, and laser illuminator/pointer. The TALON LD belongs to a family of FLIR solutions that employ a common cable interface allowing flexibility in mission profiles.
The sensor, currently in the advanced stages of development and integration, will be subject to a full battery of MIL-STD 810 and MIL-STD 461 qualification testing. Full rate production of TALON LD will begin in 2011.