Italy has made an initial selection of Lockheed Martin's AAQ-30 Hawkeye Target Sight System (TSS) for its planned Agusta A129 Mangusta attack helicopter update.

Lockheed Martin is pushing to broaden the use of the all-weather targeting system beyond the US Marine Corps' Bell AH-1Z Super Cobra upgrade, and has demonstrated the system on a Bell 222 demonstrator to Japan, Slovenia and South Korea, which have attack helicopter requirements.

Italy is developing an upgrade for its A129s while Agusta is developing the helicopter for export markets, including Australia's Air87 programme, where the Italian machine is competing against the AH-1Z and Boeing's AH-64D, which is also being offered with an upgraded electro-optical/infrared sensor suite.

The US Air Force is considering using TSS on its Lockheed Martin AC-130s, while the US Army is looking at a miniaturised derivative that could be fitted to the Boeing MH-47E and Sikorsky MH-60 special operations helicopters.

Source: Flight International