L?3 WESCAM marked a series of milestones this week. The Burlington-based company delivered the 100th MX-15 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging turret as part of the U.S. Army National Guard’s UH-72A Security and Support Mission Equipment Package (S&S MEP).
The UH-72A S&S MEP is used for homeland security, counter drug, border patrol and natural disaster support missions. Much of that requires situational awareness and the long-range imaging capabilities within the MX-15i turrets have provided the Army with a faster, more powerful means to support multi-mission roles.
Each MX-15i is configured with a four field-of-view thermal imager, daylight continuous zoom TV, daylight spotter TV, laser illuminator, auto-tracker, MX-GEO, moving map and searchlight interfaces.
Awarded the contract in 2009 as a subcontractor to Airbus Helicopters, L-3 WESCAM delivered the first system in March 2011.
The company also announced that the MX-10 electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging systems onboard the Joint British Forces’ Lynx Mk9A helicopter has now logged 10,000 hours. First deployed in late 2011, the Mk9A and MX-10 pairing has demonstrated full mission capability, leading key find and escort roles throughout Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK.
At the same time, L-3 WESCAM also confirmed successful ground and flight demonstrations of its MX-25D at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Test Center in Alabama in April.
According to L-3, the demonstrations were part of an agreement with the Apache Sensors Product Office to investigate available electro-optical technologies. “The original ground demonstration prompted the Sensors Product Office to request a side-by-side flight evaluation between the MX-25D and the current Apache M-TADS/PNVS from the U.S. Army Aviation Flight Test Directorate. Integration with the aircraft for this demo was funded by L-3 WESCAM.”
The MX-25 was first demonstrated in January 2013, when it was delivered to the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona and evaluated by the PTDS Communications-Electronics Command team as a plug-and-play upgrade path to the MX-20 systems currently deployed on PTDS aerostats.