Taiwan and South Korea have emerged as potential export customers for a new littoral version of the Longbow fire-control radar being acquired for the US Army’s Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters.

Boeing says engineering work on the upgraded Longbow radar, which adds an over-water capability and improved reliability, will be inserted as part of the Apache Block 3 spiral development programme between 2010 and 2015. The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman Longbow International joint venture has already developed the radar, but has yet to integrate it with an aircraft. South Korea and Taiwan have expressed interest in the development, but have yet to issue formal requests for the system.

Seoul is preparing to relaunch its attack helicopter contest in 2008, with the AH-64D considered the current favourite since Apache fuselages are already produced in South Korea. Longbow International is, meanwhile, prepared to supply a radar similar to the new littoral version of the Longbow system should Taiwan opt for Bell Helicopter’s AH-1Z from 2007.


Source: Flight International