Navy eyes common digital mapping system

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Design engineers at Harris Government Aerospace Systems Division in Melbourne, Fla., are using technology they developed earlier for U.S. Air Force and Army special operations in a new digital map system for the U.S. Navy F/A-18 E/F fighter-bomber.

May 1st, 1997
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By John Rhea

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Design engineers at Harris Government Aerospace Systems Division in Melbourne, Fla., are using technology they developed earlier for U.S. Air Force and Army special operations in a new digital map system for the U.S. Navy F/A-18 E/F fighter-bomber.

Navy officials, however, are looking to apply that capability throughout their aircraft as part of the Tactical Aircraft Moving Map Capability (TAMMAC).

While Navy leaders are buying the first 32 TAMMAC systems for the F/A-18 E/F, they also are targeting the existing fleet of F/A-18 C/D, V-22, AH-1W, and UH-1N for TAMMAC upgrades. Total usage could run as high as 3,000 aircraft.

In addition to economies of scale, the TAMMAC concept with its VME 64 open-system architecture enables future growth, says Dave Stack, TAMMAC program manager at Harris. The system also permits users to load DOD map data bases directly into the system without extensive translation.

TAMMAC on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 E/F consists of two weapons replaceable assemblies - the Harris digital map and an advanced memory unit from Smiths Industries Aerospace in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Digital mapping, which Harris engineers developed originally with internal R&D money, electronically display in real time a wide variety of map scales and formats, and can provide moving ground displays for flight path routing, threat masking, line-of-sight indications, and target locations.

The first user was the Air Force special operations under the Interactive Defensive Avionics System program in 1995. This effort involved about 40 MH-53J helicopters. Army special forces leaders used the same system on 67 MH-47 and MH-60 helicopters.

Harris engineers are in the development phase under their subcontract from McDonnell Douglas Corp. in St. Louis, and have low rate initial productions through the year 2000.

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Tactical Aircraft Moving Map Capability (TAMMAC) technology from Harris, which features a VME 64 open-system architecture and permits users to load DOD map data bases directly into the system without extensive translation, will go aboard the U.S. Navy F/A-18 E/F fighter-bomber.

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