Wildcat helicopter flies alongside the Swordfish torpedo bomber

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to General Dynamics (GD) UK to provide eight tactical processors and security enhanced data transfer units in support of the Royal Navy’s AgustaWestland AW159 helicopter programme.

Under the contract, General Dynamics will provide the units for installation on to the AW159 in view of a number of export opportunities by AgustaWestland.

Currently, the two products are installed aboard the UK MoD’s AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopter platforms, according to Shephard News.

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Featuring software applications and interface with onboard hardware, the tactical processor provides a video processing and distribution function, embedded mission recording and playback, and a digital map capability.

The security enhanced data transfer unit uses a ViaSat encryption solution to enable a user to safely record and store data including uploading mission and digital-map data, as well as extraction of recorded data such as radar and electro-optical sensors, voice and data communications and tactical mission data for further use.

"The Royal Navy’s Lynx Wildcat will provide over-the-horizon targeting for offensive and defensive surface and sub-surface warfare."

Based on the company’s airborne solid-state recording system, the unit also allows the transfer of data on and off the platforms through memory cartridge.

General Dynamics UK chief operating officer, Steve Rowbotham, was quoted by the news agency as saying: "It is also recognition of the highly-capable electronic solutions General Dynamics UK currently provides on a variety of different platforms."

The AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx maritime surveillance and attack helicopter will replace the Royal Navy Lynx HMA.8 and HAS.3 as well as Lynx AH mk7 and AH mk9 helicopters for British Army.

Capable of operating in blue water and littoral environments, the Royal Navy’s Lynx Wildcat will provide over-the-horizon targeting for offensive and defensive surface and sub-surface warfare, surface surveillance and search and rescue.

Image: Wildcat and Swordfish helicopters during flight. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.

Defence Technology