Elbit Systems and Northrop Grumman have signed an agreement to develop a Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) system, designed to increase the survivability of military transport aircraft in low visibility conditions.
As part of the agreement, Elbit will couple its TF/TA head-up display (HUD) system with Northrop’s AN/APN-241 terrain following radar for the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
Utilising a Digital Terrain Elevation Database and Terrain Following Radar as an active sensor, the system will enable pilots to safely manoeuvre the aircraft at low levels in all weather conditions.
Executed as part of a Glass Cockpit concept, the TF/TA system is designed to provide the aircraft with a low probability of interception/low probability of detection (LPI/LPD) capability in challenging environments.
The TF/TA HUD demonstrator is scheduled to operate onboard an international customer’s C-130 aircraft during Lockheed Martin-hosted 2012 Hercules Operator’s Council at Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta, US, from 22 to 25 October 2012.
The C-130 AMP programme requires a TF/TA system featuring components that cause approximately 50% reduction in existing operations and support (O&S) costs, and should not lead to unsafe operation of the aircraft.
Additional requirements include operation within the aircraft’s existing velocity performance envelopes, and use of standard National Imaging and Mapping Agency (NIMA) products.
The United States Air Force avionic modernisation programme aims at standardisation and modernisation of the aircraft avionics and reduction in total ownership costs for the USAF C-130 fleet, including specialised versions operated by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
Undertaken by Boeing, the programme is expected to provide modifications and upgrades to a total of 222 C-130 aircraft.
Image: The TF/TA HUD demonstrator will enable the pilots to safely fly the aircraft in low visibility conditions. Photo: courtesy of Elbit Systems.