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LONGBOW APACHE DEMONSTRATES ABILITY TO TRANSMIT DIGITAL TARGETING DATA VIA IMPROVED DATA MODEM WHILE IN FLIGHT

 MESA, Ariz., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Transmission and sharing of digital targeting data -- vital to the U.S. Army success on the next- generation battlefield -- has been successfully demonstrated by an airborne AH-64D Longbow Apache prototype for the first time.
 The first of what will develop into a library of Longbow messages was transmitted from the Longbow Apache to a mobile ground station, using an Improved Data Modem (IDM), an integral part of the aircraft's avionics suite. The IDM will enable Longbow Apache crews to instantly communicate digital targeting data with other IDM-equipped or IDM- compatible forces both in the air and on the ground.
 The Longbow Apache, being developed for production by McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems and Team Apache Modernization, is the next- generation version of the U.S. Army's combat-proven AH-64A Apache. The Longbow Apache integrates new technologies, like the IDM and a mast- mounted fire control radar system, that will enable it to dominate the battlefield of the future.
 During the Dec. 8 testing in Mesa, pilots used the IDM to demonstrate the Longbow Apache's ability to communicate with a mobile ground station at 35 nautical miles using a new digital communications system. The first Longbow user message was tested in various modes, including clear, secure, and anti-jam.
 Additionally, a single-channel digital fire support message, using the TACFIRE protocol, was equally successful.
 "Demonstration of the IDM's ability to share target information with air and ground forces is a major milestone for the Apache Modernization program," said Chuck Vehlow, director of Apache derivatives at McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems. "This success again verifies that Longbow Apache gives the Army a capability unmatched anywhere in the world."
 Vehlow said the IDM was important to the Longbow Apache's success because it will enable pilots to communicate digital targeting data, and surveillance and command and control information needed to accomplish near real-time fire zone coordination, fire control, and target hand- off.
 Data transmitted by the IDM can be displayed graphically or in text format as appropriate. This capability is fully integrated into the Longbow Apache's crewstation to minimize crew workload and to simplify the target acquisition and fire control tasks aboard the Longbow Apache.
 The U.S. Army plans to modernize its entire AH-64A Apache fleet into the AH-64D configuration. All modernized Apaches will be equipped with IDMs.
 -0- 1/4/93
 /CONTACT: Hal Klopper of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, 602-891-5519/


CO: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems ST: Arizona IN: ARO SU:

MF-LS -- LA033 -- 9083 01/04/94 18:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 4, 1994
Words:417
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