Lockheed Martin Integrates Pathfinder Advanced Pilotage Sensor on HH-60L Black Hawk MEDEVAC Helicopter
ORLANDO, FL, 07/14/2008 -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] Pathfinder flight team established operations at Felker Army Airfield, Fort Eustis, VA, this week in preparation for the system's developmental and limited-user evaluation by the U.S. Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. Army aircrews will evaluate the Pathfinder system, a state-of the-art pilotage sensor for cargo and utility aircraft.
This evaluation phase, expected to last through November, will assess Pathfinder's performance as a fully integrated advanced pilotage sensor on a U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) HH-60L Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopter. Lockheed Martin will lead an industry team that includes BAE Systems, Elbit-Fort Worth and Thales.
We are excited about demonstrating a much needed, fully-integrated pilotage capability for the Army's cargo and utility helicopter community, said Bill Ryan, business development manager for Apache programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Our demonstration with the Army's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate at Fort Belvoir, VA, last year opened a lot of eyes to this capability. We are eager for Soldiers to experience Pathfinder in the cockpit.
Pathfinder leverages existing combat-proven technology from the Lockheed Martin Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system, also known as Arrowhead®, currently integrated and deployed on the AH-64D Apache helicopter. Pathfinder significantly increases situational awareness and reduces pilot workload through an eyes-forward, eyes-out, helmet-mounted display.
As part of the upcoming evaluation exercises, HH-60L pilots will use all of Pathfinder's superior situational awareness features in an operational environment.
The Pathfinder pilotage sensor is the optimum low-risk, best-value pilotage solution for providing safe flight operations in degraded visual environments such as brownouts and whiteouts, said Bob Gunning, vice president of Apache Fire Control programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Pathfinder offers an immediate, positive impact to aircraft safety and provides an outstanding pilotage solution that works even when night vision goggles cannot.
With its exceptionally wide field of view, Pathfinder is the only forward-looking infrared system designed and developed specifically to support terrain flight and critical operations in degraded landing areas. Its high definition resolution allows pilots to fly at safer altitudes and airspeeds while providing necessary information to complete complex missions while avoiding obstacles such as wires, poles, and trees.
The Pathfinder turret mounts readily on the helicopter's chin using a kit consisting of three line-replaceable modules. Eleven of the 14 line-replaceable modules are entirely common with the AH-64D Apache's M-PNVS system, creating a unique synergy with the established M-TADS/PNVS production line and performance based logistics sustainment.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.