A security company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin has announced that the multi-sensor Target Sight System (TSS) developed for the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter has been successfully deployed as a division of the Amphibious Squadron 5 with the US Marine Corps 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
The TSS infrared/electro-optical fire control system integrates several sensors to provide enhanced long-range imagery to aviators though an advanced sensor suite that features a color TV camera, a laser designator and a mid-wave, large aperture forward-looking infrared sensor (FLIR) with state-of-the-art image processing capabilities. The TSS features an 8.55” aperture, midwave FLIR offering four fields-of-view for long-range performance and enhanced image resolution. It also integrates an inertial measurement unit, a multi-target tracker and a modular architecture.
The senior program manager – airborne systems at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control division, Joseph Butera indicated that the first operational deployment of the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter with the 11th MEU increases the presence of the multi-sensor TSS. Butera further stated that the combat-proven TSS technology will be a part of the Special Operations Command AC-130 U Gunship.
Lockheed was awarded with an initial production contract by the Naval Surface Warfare Center in March 2008, and a second production contract for the TSS in June 2010. The first TSS was delivered by Lockheed Martin in June 2009. Production of the multi-sensor TSS is projected to continue up to 2018.