TEDAC Gives TADS/PNVS Sharper Images, Reduces Maintenance Time by 50 Percent
FARNBOROUGH, UK and ORLANDO, FL, 26-JUL-00 --
Lockheed Martin is now under contract to produce 105 TADS Electronic Display and Control (TEDAC) systems. The TEDAC is a replacement for the Apache's optical relay tube (ORT) and is the first TADS/PNVS item funded by the U.S. Army for modernization. The new Lockheed Martin TEDAC reduces the size, weight and complexity of this critical Apache helicopter viewing system, in addition to improving reliability and lowering unit cost.
TEDAC can be used with both A- and D- model Apaches. The TEDAC is available for new aircraft and as an upgrade for current Apache users. TEDAC improves pilot situational awareness and increases survivability space for Apache pilots. Operationally, the co-pilot gunner no longer has a heads down display for targeting, which allows the co-pilot gunner to view the TADS/PNVS imagery by looking straight ahead at the larger, high resolution TEDAC panel.
Upon contract award in 1997 to make improvements to the co-pilot gunner's targeting display panel for incorporation into A- and D-model Apache helicopters, Lockheed Martin made such extensive improvements to the ORT that an entirely new unit resulted, called TEDAC. Since the initial contract award, the company has been designing, testing, and building prototype and production hardware for the U.S. Army for the Apache fleet of over 750 helicopters.
With mechanical and electrical interfaces compatible with the existing Apache airframe, the new TEDAC is also designed to accommodate a more efficient manufacturing process and a simpler field maintenance operation. For example, removal and replacement of the old ORT for the new TEDAC requires about 2 hours"1 hour for ORT removal and 1 hour for TEDAC replacement. This reduces maintenance and operational downtime by 50%.
While the present contract calls for production of 105 TEDACs, there is also a potential to retrofit the U.S. Army's entire Apache fleet as well as Apaches owned by foreign military customers.
One of the most significant features of the TEDAC is the use of active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLD) technology. The new display measures approximately 5 x 5 inches and has a 960 x 960 pixels for high resolution imagery. Lockheed Martin used a concurrent engineering approach to produce the TEDAC prototype from a 3- D Pro Engineer model. Technically, TEDAC eliminates the optical path within the ORT.
Located in Dallas, Texas, and Orlando, Florida, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, a world leader in electro-optics, smart munitions, advanced combat, missile, rocket and space systems, is an operating element of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business unit based in Bethesda, Maryland.