Proposed Equipment for FENNEC and PANTERA Helicopters
In February, Brazilian Army Aviation Command tested the L3 Wescam MX10 camera, installed in a Helibras AS550A2 FENNEC helicopter.
The tests comprised three hours flying (two hours by day, one by night with night vision goggles) from Taubaté air base in São Paulo state, simulating reconnaissance and attack missions. Among the functions evaluated was the camera’s ability to follow moving targets and the capacity to merge images from multiple sensors.
The MX10 is one of the cameras proposed to equip the FENNEC and Helibras AS365K2 PANTERA with a new Axial Weapon and Helicopter Imaging System, enabling both intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) and attack missions. The requirements include a capability to launch air to surface missiles at 5mi range, with a target crossing at 21kts at up to 1.2mi distant from a height of 100ft, with a laser rangefinder achieving error rates of under 65ft at 6.2mi range, as well as TV and infrared imagery. Data transmissions in real time will be achieved over at least 23mi from a 2,000ft operating altitude and 57mi from 3,000 feet.
The MX10, weighing 43lbs, features a thermal imager, a daytime camera with high-definition digital zoom, a low-light camera and a laser rangefinder. The version offered against the requirement will also be equipped with an illuminator and laser designator.
Seven companies have expressed interest in offering a solution for the Army Aviation requirement: AEL Sistemas (with Israel’s Elbit Systems); ATECH; Helibras; Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in partnership with Brazilian Avionics Services and IACIT; L3 Technologies; Rafael (with AKAER); and SIATT.