Longbow LLC engineers to build 17 radar- and UAV-control subsystems for AH-64D attack helicopters

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 2 May 2014. Military RF communications experts at Longbow LLC in Orlando, Fla., will build 17 sensor and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control subsystems for the Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter under terms of a $22.2 million contract modification announced Wednesday.

Army orders UAV control for attack helicopters
Army orders UAV control for attack helicopters
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 2 May 2014. Military RF communications experts at Longbow LLC in Orlando, Fla., will build 17 sensor and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control subsystems for the Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter under terms of a $22.2 million contract modification announced Wednesday.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., are asking Longbow LLC to provide Radar Electronics Units (REUs), Unmanned Aerial Systems Tactical Common Data Link Assembly (UTAs), a P4.00 software upgrade, and related hardware for production testing for the AH-64D helicopter.

Longbow LLC is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. The REU is part of the Apache Block III upgrade, and will replace two line-replaceable units. The REU provides growth capabilities to the Longbow fire-control radar and reduces maintenance costs.

The Longbow Unmanned Aerial Systems Tactical Common Data Link Assembly provides a two-way, high-bandwidth data link to enable AH-64D air crews to control UAVs equipped with tactical common data links (TCDLs) at long ranges, and receive UAV imagery on multi-function displays in the cockpit.

Related: Additional Army AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to receive low-light pilotage sensor upgrades

The UTA is integrated with the Longbow Apache's mission computers and displays to enable helicopter pilots to manipulate the UAV flight path, control the sensor package to acquire and track targets, and designate and engage targets with UAV designators and weapons.

UAV imagery from Longbow Apache helicopters is available for distribution to other aircraft or to ground vehicles, command posts, and individual warfighters. The UTA communications with TCDL ground stations to share UAV imagery with ground forces.

Related: Boeing delivers first AH-64D Apache Block III Combat Helicopter to US Army

The Longbow system consists of either a fire control radar or a UTA, a fire-and-forget radar frequency Hellfire millimeter wave-guided missile, and an all-digital M299 launcher.

On this contract Longbow LLC will do the work in Orlando, Fla., and should be finished by July 2015. For more information contact Lockheed Martin online at www.lockheedmartin.com, Northrop Grumman at www.northropgrumman.com, or the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal at www.acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-rsa.

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