Electro-optical AH-1Z sensor with laser targeting, IR, and color TV camera ordered from Lockheed Martin

BY John Keller

ORLANDO, Fla.—U.S. Navy helicopter avionics designers are looking to the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business unit in Orlando, Fla., to provide the Target Sight System (TSS), which provides fire control and targeting for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter.

Lockheed Martin engineers will do the work under terms of a $49.9 million follow-on production contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Washington. NSWC awarded the first TSS production contract in March 2008, followed by a second production contract in June 2010.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will provide the Target Sight System (TSS) for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will provide the Target Sight System (TSS) for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter.

TSS uses airborne sensors consisting of a laser designator, color TV camera, and a third-generation midwave forward-looking infrared sensor with advanced image processing to provide helicopter pilots with imagery through its stabilized sensor suite.

The turret mounts to the nose of the Cobra helicopter, and helps the pilot identify targets and designate them with a laser at maximum weapons ranges, Lockheed Martin officials say. The midwave staring infrared sensor has an 8.55-inch aperture and four fields of view. The TSS’s high-magnification continuous-zoom color TV camera is slaved to the infrared sensor.

The infrared sensor uses a 640- by-512-pixel indium antimonide detector with low noise equivalent delta temperature and high modulation transfer with active cooling. Lockheed Martin recently began early delivery of low-rate initial production units of the Cobra helicopter’s TSS. Production should continue through 2018.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com/mfc.

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