The US Army has accelerated deployment of its new Blue Force Tracking-Aviation (BFT-A) system, equipping more than 300 helicopters in the past six months, shaving 18 months off the original schedule. The system has allowed commanders in Iraq to locate, in real time and beyond line of sight, the position of helicopters on the battlefield.

BFT-A comprises GPS and L-band antennas, transceiver and Raytheon mini router and is already installed on the Boeing AH-64 attack helicopter, providing commanders on the ground with near continuous position updates. The Boeing CH-47 and Sikorsky UH-60 are equipped with a Paravant central processing unit and display allowing crews to keep track of other helicopters and two-way messaging.

Source: Flight International