Northrop Grumman's Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Lab (Rail) is offering electronic warfare suite controller software for international users of its APR 39 radar warning receiver for helicopters.

The software allows data from key sensors such as the helicopter's laser warning devices and hostile fire indicators to be channelled through the APR 39.

"With many helicopters the information from different sensors goes to the pilot, who then has to fuse the data," said Jeffrey Palombo, sector vice-president of the company's land and self-protection systems division. "Our solution puts all information through the APR 39, which fuses it and provides unambiguous information to the pilot."

The information can be displayed in various ways, and also passed on to other platforms such as other aircraft. Rail's software has already been used by US helicopters operating in Afghanistan.

Palombo said that international customers of the APR 39 have expressed interest in the system, but he declined to name specific prospects.

Northrop Grumman said putting the APR 39 to dual uses also saves weight and power. "Size, weight and power are key to the helicopter market," said Palombo. "Fewer sensors mean more cargo."

The software requires no additional hardware or changes to an aircraft's hardware configuration.

During a presentation in the Northrop Grumman chalet, Palombo showed an animated video of a Boeing MV-22 Osprey equipped with an APR 39 and the Rail software. The pilot detected both infrared-seeking and radar-guided missiles on a single screen, and defeated both threats with flares and chaff.

Information relayed on from the APR 39 allowed AH-64D Apaches to destroy the enemy units.

"At the end of the day this improves the kill chain," said Palombo.

Source: Flight Daily News