The Comanche Team has completed an important digital battlefield technology test that demonstrates the power of integrated warfighting capabilities.
Test engineers and technicians at the Boeing Comanche Mission Equipment Package (MEP) System Integration Laboratory successfully displayed Night Vision Pilotage System (NVPS) imagery on a Comanche cockpit multi-function display. NVPS is a major component of the Comanche MEP, the RAH-66's fully integrated digital avionics system that incorporates advanced navigation, communication and targeting capabilities.
The integration effort linked imagery from Comanche's low-light video and forward-looking infrared sensors with a cockpit display to replicate capabilities that will permit pilots to complete reconnaissance missions successfully at night and in adverse weather. Comanche Team members from Boeing, Harris, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman worked together for seven months to complete the integration test, which involved every major hardware module and data bus within the MEP.
Comanche Prototype No. 2 is scheduled to fly the NVPS, along with the upgraded mission computer cluster hardware and software and upgraded cockpit displays, in March 2002.
Jean Chamberlin, Boeing Comanche program director, said, "This integration test is just the first of many successes we expect to achieve in MEP development this year. We face a number of technical challenges in MEP development, but our team is fully committed to validating our systems and preparing them for flight tests on schedule. The Comanche airframe has already demonstrated its capabilities, and we are now preparing to prove that the MEP's digital systems truly will make Comanche a unique combat rotorcraft with unparalleled brains as well as brawn."
The RAH-66 Comanche, the U.S. Army's 21st century combat helicopter, is being developed by U.S. Army Aviation and a team of leading aerospace companies headed by Boeing and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.