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Monday, June 23, 2014

Moog’s Gen3 Weaponizes Small Helos

“It’s the lightest in the market,” said Jason Reichard, the business unit director at Moog’s Orlando engineering center. “[And] it’s designed to be platform agnostic,” meaning it can work with any weapon system aboard any aircraft.

By Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large

Orlando, Fla.-based Moog Integrated Defense Systems has introduced what it calls its Gen3 Weapons System, which made one of its first public appearances aboard an MD-530G light attack helicopter at Heli-Expo 2014. Although the company says it can be used aboard any airborne military platform, it is quick to add that it was designed to be the optimum size and weight for light attack helicopters and airplanes. 

The primary components of the system are the stores management computer (SMC), the stores control panel, the stores interface unit, and a rocket interface. Moog engineers say the combined weight of 12 lbs. and small size can fit in the aft compartment of any light helicopter used for military applications.

“It’s the lightest in the market,” said Jason Reichard, the business unit director at Moog’s Orlando engineering center. “[And] it’s designed to be platform agnostic,” meaning it can work with any weapon system aboard any aircraft.

 

Moog’s Gen3 Weapons System (red) was designed with light helicopters in mind. The combined units, which weigh 12 lbs, and can control any weapon currently in the light attack helicopter inventory. Graphic courtesy of Moog Integrated Systems

At the core of the Gen3 system is the SMC, which “talks” to all of the platform interfaces, such as sensors, navigation gear, autopilots, and digitized mission data, then use that information to accurately create a firing solution for the aircraft’s ordinance. 

“We can take coordinates off of a moving map, we can place targets on a moving map, show missile footprints, targets of opportunity, and communicate steering cues to get on target,” explained Reichard.”So, if you designated a target, and you needed to be in a different position, [the SMC] will calculate that and give steering cues to the pilot. It can [also] talk through the autopilot on the aircraft to steer it to a position.”

Reichard adds that Gen3 is not designed to be a rack system. Its four components can be individually replaced, making it easily serviceable.

The Moog Gen3 Weapons System can currently be found aboard the MD530G and the Bell 407GT, which have found customers in foreign militaries. Other aircraft, which the company would not divulge, are also being fitted with the system.

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