L-3 Selected to Provide Enhanced Displays for Apache Helicopter


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L-3 Selected to Provide Enhanced Displays for Apache Helicopter

By Shane Nolan

September 1, 2011 - L-3 Communications announced that its Display Systems unit has received a competitively-awarded firm-fixed price contract from Lockheed Martin to develop a new 5-x-5-inch color Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display (AMLCD) assembly for the U.S. Army’s AH-64D Apache helicopter.

L-3 has extensive experience supporting the Apache platform, with over 1,000 display systems delivered to Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army.  The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.

The Apache was developed as Model 77 by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra. First flown on 30 September 1975, the AH-64 features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.  

The Apache is armed with a 30-millimeter (1.2 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft's forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 features multiple aircraft systems with built-in redundancy to improve survivability in combat; improved crash survivability for the crew has also been prioritized. 

The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. U.S. AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, Persian Gulf War, Kosovo War, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel has made active use of the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza Strip, while two coalition allies have deployed their AH-64s in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

L-3’s new color AMLCD assembly will be a direct replacement for the current monochromatic display unit, and will be used to enhance the Apache’s target acquisition and night vision sensor display capabilities.  It provides one of the highest resolution display systems available on U.S. military platforms, resulting in greatly enhanced target detection and recognition for Apache pilots during day or night operations.

“We are honored to have earned this opportunity to extend our outstanding relationship with Lockheed Martin on the AH-64D Apache program. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army have shown great confidence in our ability to develop this complex system upgrade for our warfighters and meet all program requirements on time and on budget,” said Bruce Coffey, president of L-3 Display Systems.


“L-3 is a leader in providing high-performance display systems, processing and avionics subsystem integration solutions for demanding environments, and we look forward to providing our most advanced display technology for the Apache helicopter.”

L-3 Display Systems, located in Alpharetta, Ga., specializes in the design, development and manufacture of ruggedized display and processing systems for the world’s most advanced applications. The company offers a wide variety of displays and processors to meet a host of system architectures for airborne, shipboard and ground-based applications.

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