Orlando,Florida. 06 September 2020. U.S. Army recently awarded LONGBOW Limited Liability Company, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corporation, a Foreign Military Sales contract to provide the AH-64E Apache helicopter AN/APG-78 LONGBOW Fire Control Radar (FCR) for the Indian Army. So the good news is that Indian Army’s share of Apache are not very far from becoming a part of the inventory.
The addition of Morocco, the Netherlands and Indian Army expands the LONGBOW customer base to include 16 foreign militaries and 14 nations. UAE is updating from the AH-64D to the AH-64E aircraft. These contracts are a direct result of the five-year production requirements contract the U.S. Department of Defense awarded to LBL in 2016. LBL celebrated 35 years of successful partnership in August.
“The LBL team is excited to bring Morocco, Netherlands and India Army into the LONGBOW FCR user community, and to update UAE with new capabilities, as the ever-evolving missions of our U.S. allies will benefit from our precision engagement capabilities,” said Jim Messina, LBL president and Lockheed Martin program director. “The LONGBOW radar remains a relevant and important system for the missions Apache aircrews fly.”
When coupled with the Apache’s unique system of sensors approach, LONGBOW FCR gives aircrews the capability to scan large areas at long ranges to identify threats and targets for prosecution with a low probability of being detected. If a target is identified, the data can be handed off to a missile and launch system, or if a target needs further identification and classification, the data is handed off to the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight (M-TADS) system for increased visual identification.
“As LONGBOW Joint Venture marks 35 years of successful partnership, the addition of these customers is a testament to the deep experience and dedication the team brings to advance the FCR system to support our customer’s missions,” said Shalini Gupta, LBL vice president and Northrop Grumman director for LONGBOW programs.
LBL is now providing increased FCR capabilities with the Apache AH-64E Version 6 helicopter. Version 6 FCR software enhancements provide new operational modes and capabilities, including maritime, single target track, and 360-degree surveillance mode, as well as extended detection range against land, air and sea targets.
Developed and fielded for the AH-64D Apache, the APG-78 LONGBOW Fire Control Radar (FCR) is a combat proven force multiplier. LONGBOW FCR has repeatedly demonstrated its operational capabilities to dramatically increase Apache’s mission success. LONGBOW provides aircrews with decisive situational awareness, beyond maximum engagement ranges, for diverse roles and missions.
The FCR’s primary combat targeting modes include Ground Target Mode (GTM), Air Targeting Mode (ATM), and a new Maritime Targeting Mode (MTM) for the AH-64E. These modes provide rapid detection to engagement timelines. The FCR performs wide area search, precise detection, location and classification of up to 256 simultaneous moving and stationary targets. From these, the system then prioritizes the top 16 targets for immediate evaluation and, if desired, engagement by the aircrew. This system enables the potent Apache attack helicopter to prosecute targets day or night, in adverse weather and obscured conditions.
Additional modes include Terrain Profile Mode, which significantly aids aircrew situational awareness to avoid terrain and large obstacles under degraded environments, including weather and battlefield conditions; and Target Location Cueing to the Apache’s Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System (MTADS) for positive target identification.
In addition to the new Maritime Targeting Mode, other significant advanced capabilities provided to the AH-64E include: Doubling target detection ranges from the original 8 km to 16 km (4X increased detection volume) – further extending crucial situational awareness; 360 degree surveillance and single target track across land, air and sea missions and improved detection of smaller unmanned aerial vehicles.
The LONGBOW FCR provides high performance with very low probability of detection or intercept. High system reliability and two-level maintenance provide high operational availability with low support costs.
LONGBOW FCR provides a proven capability, unmatched by any other Attack Helicopter. Designed, demonstrated and continuously improved to ensure critical Apache Mission Survivability and Lethality.