Elbit Systems to upgrade Marine Corps’ AH-1W attack helicopters

19 May 2014 (Last Updated May 19th, 2014 18:30)

Elbit Systems of America has received two contracts worth $20.1m from the US Marine Corps (USMC) to upgrade its Bell AH-1W attack helicopter fleet.

USMC Bell AH-1W helicopter

Elbit Systems of America has received two contracts worth $20.1m from the US Marine Corps (USMC) to upgrade its Bell AH-1W attack helicopter fleet.

Under the first $11.6m deal, to be executed over a two-year-period, Elbit will be tasked with the integration of helmet-display tracker system (HDTS) kits on the aircraft.

The HDTS offers Bell AH-1W crew members with enhanced situational awareness, improved night vision, weapons sighting and weapons control capabilities, which boost flight safety.

The second $8.5m contract, to be carried out over a fifteen-month period, involves the integration of tactical-video data link (TVDL) technology, which offers information that enables aircrew to detect, identify and quickly respond to threats.

"These new technologies give our marines capabilities and a level of safety never before experienced."

The information can be received by on-board sensors or via external sources, including ground troops or other aircraft.

Elbit Systems of America president and CEO Raanan Horowitz said that the HDTS and TVDL 'are technologies being deployed ... with the singular end result of saving lives'.

"The AH-1W is on the front lines in the battle against those who wish to harm America," Horowitz said. "These new technologies give our marines capabilities and a level of safety never before experienced."

The AH-1W Super Cobra is an attack helicopter offering en-route escort for assault helicopters and their embarked forces.


Image: USMC's AH-1W helicopter taking off from an amphibious assault ship. Photo: courtesy of Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mark Hays.

Defence Technology