A company-owned H225M testbed platform equipped with the Airbus Helicopters HForce GWC modular weapons system. Initial live-fire tests took place at a test range in Belgium from 25 May to 3 June. Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings
Airbus Helicopters has completed initial testing of its modular HForce Generic Weapon System (GWC) that is geared at enabling operators to quickly and easily transform their civilian platforms into armed military ones by means of a single common mission computer, the company announced on 13 June.
The tests, which took place at a test range in Belgium from 25 May to 3 June, involved a company-owned H225M helicopter to demonstrate the system with ballistic weapons, including 12.7 mm machine guns, 20 mm cannons, and 70 mm rockets.
First revealed in March, HForce comprises a central Rockwell Collins Deutschland (RCD) FMC-4212 General Purpose Computer (GPC), the Thales’ Scorpion monocular helmet-mounted sight display (HMSD), a Wescam electro-optical sensor, as well as gunner armament weapon grips and weapon pods.
The GPC enables the integration of a number of different weapon systems aboard the H125M, H145M, or H225M helicopters, with company officials describing it as a “Swiss Army knife” to cover all of the operational spectrum.
As previously described to IHS Jane’s , the HForce GWC is available in four different options, depending on the customer’s requirements:
Option 0 – the helicopter is provisioned for the HForce GWC for later retrofit, but not yet equipped with it.
Option 1 – Ballistic firing with HMSD. This includes pilot HMSD, plus the integration of a combination of 12.7 mm HMPs, 20 mm cannons, and unguided rockets.
Option 2 – Ballistic firing with HMSD and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) targeting. This includes Option 1, plus pilot and co-pilot/gunner HMSD, and EO/IR targeting.
Option 3 – Ballistic firing with HMSD and EO/IR and guided weapons. This includes Option 2, plus air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, and laser-guided rockets.
With live-fire testing now underway, the first fully qualified H225M should be ready in 2017, to be followed in 2018 by the H125M and in 2019 by the H145M.
Airbus Helicopters has recently completed a first round of firing tests with HForce, a generic weapon system in development for the company’s commercial helicopter range. The innovative system, which includes a central core unit, Thales’ Scorpion monocular helmet mounted sight display (HMSD), an electro-optical system (EOS) from Wescam as well as gunner armament weapon grips and weapon pods, has been undergoing testing for the past five months.
Thales Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (HMCS)
Thales to supply Scorpion® helmet display
- This is the first helmet mounted display that features colour symbology and video imaging for both daytime and nighttime missions.
- Thales will be responsible for the viability study, testing phase, integration with test aircraft, qualification support and integration in the fleet.
Thales will also be responsible for the development and production of the specific configuration for the Spanish Air Force EF-18. The system is already operational in multiple platforms in the United States
Image @thalesvisionix.comImage @thalesvisionix.com
Scorpion® is a ‘force multiplier’ system offering full colour symbology (navigation, intelligence, combat, etc.) for both nighttime and daytime missions, in addition to target cueing in potentially degraded visual environments, therefore easily allowing target designation and allocation of points of interest with the aircraft’s sensors. Scorpion® is fully interchangeable between helmets/pilots as it is installed directly over standard helmets, allowing the total amount of equipment necessary for the fleet to be reduced, thus favouring maintenance and reducing life-cycle costs.
Sensor Video Capability @thalesvisionix.com
Thales will be responsible for the viability study, testing phase, integration with test aircraft, qualification support and integration in the fleet. Thales will also be responsible for the development and production of the specific Scorpion® configuration for the Spanish EF-18 including ejection safety analysis. The qualification phase includes inter-operability with the IRIS-T missile and the daytime/ nighttime-imaging pod for cueing lightening targets.
Note to editors
The HMCS uses the patented and innovative HObIT (Hybrid Optical based Inertial Tracking) technology, the hybrid reference system that warrants high precision with minimum cabin intrusion. For nighttime missions, Scorpion can be operated with standard unmodified night vision goggles (NVG), therefore offering the same quality colour/video imaging symbol combination.
The system is already operational on multiple platforms in the United States such as the F16 Block 30/32 and the A10 ‘Thunderbolt II’ and has been flight tested on the F-22, the NH-90 and many other platforms. At present, the system is being actively evaluated by other clients globally.
Rockwell Collins FMC-4000 series of flight and mission computers
Rockwell Collins launched its FMC-4000 series of flight and mission computers at the ILA Berlin Air Show today,offering advanced capabilities with unprecedented levels of performance and flexibility across a large variety of platforms.
As part of the launch, Rockwell Collins announced that Airbus Helicopters has already selected the FMC-4212 mission computer.
“Our FMC-4000 flight and mission computer seamlessly connects systems and applications on board, allowing pilots to control overall aircraft functionality,” said Claude Alber, vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, for Rockwell Collins. Posted 21 May 2014 – “ILA: Rockwell Collins launches new mission computers” @arabianaerospace.aero