Navy looks to add sensor/targeting array to Special Ops planes

The Navy is looking to add a long-range electro-optical sensor and targeting system to large aircraft such as the C-130J military transport plane.

In a Sources Sought notice issued to industry, the Naval Surface Warfare Center said it wants to identify who can provide such a system, which, by way of defining that it needs to do, it calls the Long Range Multi-Sensor EO/IR Stabilized Gimbal with Multi-Function Laser Designator/Rangefinder/Illuminator, High Definition Full Motion Infrared and Visible Video and High Accuracy Target Location Systems.

The Navy said the gimbaled system—meaning it has a pivot support that keeps it upright in relation to the horizon—should have a “ball” diameter no larger than 30 inches and weigh no more than 300 pounds, and be compatible with the C-130J, including its hardware and interfaces. The system must be able to handle the shock and vibration, altitude, air speed, and other environmental characteristics associated with this type of aircraft, the solicitation says. The C-130J is the latest version of the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft, also known as Hercules, which in its other variants has been in use for 60 years.

Other requirements include:

Fire Control System compatibility with the Special Operations Command’s Precision Strike Package mission system, including high data rate communication, video, data, command and control, interlocks and safety systems.

Multi-Sensor capability, covering simultaneous output of four or more camera systems, including electro-optical color daylight, infrared (long wave, mid wave, short wave) and low light capable cameras. Each camera should have multiple field of views to enable airborne surveillance and targeting capabilities.

High Definition Video capability, with outputs capable of both a high-definition format of 1080p or better, as well as standard definition formats.

Target Tracking, covering both manual and automatic high-accuracy target locating and tracking.

Geo-Targeting, providing line-of-sight pointing data for accurate weapons delivery. The system also must be capable of geo-location and providing sensor generating data to other aircraft.

Multi-Spectral/Multi-band/Multi-Function Lasers capable of multi-spectral pointing (visible and infrared), laser rangefinding and laser designating.

Inter4ested vendors are asked to submit white papers with information on their systems. The deadline for submissions is March 18.

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