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Elbit develops a ‘Combat Force Multiplier’ for helicopter crews

October 22, 2013
Elbit Systems Logo

Situational awareness technology advances developed by Elbit Systems of America LLC, provide helicopter crews the visual cues they need to negotiate landings and takeoffs, even in the most severe degraded visual environments (DVE).

Incorporating technologies such as a Helmet Display and Tracker System (HDTS) with its intuitive 3D conformal grid symbology, Elbit Systems of America demonstrated a greatly enhanced level of mission capability in simulations conducted in the U.S. Army Black Hawk Engineering Analysis Cockpit (BEAC), a fixed-based UH-60L flight simulator in Redstone Arsenal, AL. In these rotary wing simulations, Elbit Systems of America’s HDTS with 3D symbology successfully completed 100 percent of its tests in DVE brownout conditions. Conversely, numerous mission failures were experienced using 2D symbology under identical conditions. Detailed U.S. Army Research Lab reports containing the results of these tests are available upon request from the U.S. Army Air Warrior office.

U.S. Army test evaluators stated that Elbit Systems of America’s 3D heads-up conformal symbology demonstrates an exceptionally strong positive effect on flight crew situation awareness, workload task performance, and preference. It also allows pilots to safely hover in severe brownout conditions.

The HDTS with 3D conformal grid symbology provides intuitive visual approach and drift cues enabling pilots to know where they are in space and time. The ancillary benefits of the system are significant. The system delivers improved crewmember coordination by providing indicators for one crewmember to determine the other’s line-of-sight, making it possible for both pilots to focus immediately on a designated object or area. For aircraft equipped with automated landing systems, pilots have instant line-of-sight designations of new landing points. Also, pilots of aircraft equipped with sensors or weapon systems can now have hands-free, heads-up targeting and/or slewing of sensors to their line-of-sight.

“These are significant advances in situational awareness technologies that will greatly improve our military’s capabilities in all helicopter missions, whether it’s delivering or extracting troops and equipment, medevac operations, search and rescue, or attack,” said Raanan Horowitz, Elbit Systems of America’s President and CEO. “This milestone is a result of our engineering team’s unrelenting commitment to providing cutting-edge technologies for our warfighters. This is truly a combat force multiplier that will save equipment for the next mission and, most importantly, protect and save lives.”

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