Army adapts AH-64 Apache to recognize ground fire and shoot back automatically

FORT EUSTIS, Va.-U.S. Army helicopter aviation experts are moving ahead with a program to fit special infrared sensors aboard the Boeing AH-64D Apache attack helicopter that detect and pinpoint enemy ground fire from rifles, pistols, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and other infantry weapons and quickly train the Apache's weapons on sources of the hostile fire.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) at Fort Eustis, Va., plan to award a sole-source contract to the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in Tempe, Ariz., to fit ground-fire-detection systems on the Apache attack helicopter as part of the Army's Ground Fire Acquisition System (GFAS).

U.S. Army researchers are fitting the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, shown above, to recognize hostile ground fire and shoot back automatically.
U.S. Army researchers are fitting the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, shown above, to recognize hostile ground fire and shoot back automatically.

The contract to Boeing, which should be awarded sometime in June, calls for Boeing to adapt the WeaponWatch surveillance and detection system from Radiance Technologies Inc. in Huntsville, Ala., for the Apache's GFAS avionics.

GFAS uses networked infrared sensors to detect muzzle flashes from ground fire, routes the information through the attack helicopter's onboard processors, and displays the location and distance of the shooters as an icon on the pilot's display screen. It enables the Apache crew to train on-board Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors (TADS/PNVS) onto the target, but it also transmits targeting information to nearby troops on the ground.

Within seconds, Apache crews can train their helicopter's weapons on the hostile shooters. The AH-64D is armed with a 30-millimeter chain gun, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, and Hydra 70 rocket pods.

The Army will provide Boeing with the Radiance Technologies WeaponWatch as government-furnished property (GFP). WeaponWatch can detect and classify small arms, RPGs, mortars, shoulder-fired missiles, tanks, and artillery.

WeaponWatch can display threat type and location, cue imaging systems and weapons, and support a common operating picture in real-time using existing tactical radios and other military communications systems, Radiance officials say.

Rather than integrating the WeaponWatch-based GFAS system aboard the Apache attack helicopter by changing the rotorcraft's flight software and adding displays, the GFAS system uses a special processor to add this capability.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Boeing Defense, Space & Security at www.boeing.com/bds.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Leon Woo, VP of Engineering at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TWO MOST RECENT WINNERS. "Nick from SPARWAR" and "Bridget from AOC."


Featured Slideshow

Evolution of the American soldier

The American soldier has come a long way since the beginning of the Republic 237 years ago. While uniforms for early soldiers were based on cost and utility, soldiers' clothing eventually considered ballistic protection, increasing storage space, protection from poison gas and other contaminants.

Related Products

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

Related Companies

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

On Demand Webcasts

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

Join Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity, for an overview webinar of the standards, technologies and trends involving VITA and TE.

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE