BAE Systems stop cable calamities

BAE Systems has completed flight-testing of a prototype lightweight, all-weather system that uses radar to identify cables and other obstacles and provides precise altimeter information to military helicopter pilots.


BAE Systems has completed flight-testing of a prototype lightweight, all-weather cable and obstacle detection system. The system uses radar to identify cables and other obstacles and provides precise altimeter information to military helicopter pilots.



Based on BAE Systems’ analysis of helicopter incidents since 1980, the company estimates that equipping the US rotary-wing fleet with this system would save the military more than $500m over 10 years.



The system detects cables and other obstacles using low-probability-of-intercept, low-probability-of-detection radar technology. BAE Systems developed the test program with input from the US government and performed the evaluation in Arlington, Texas, using Bell Helicopter’s new 430 test aircraft.



The device weighs less than eight pounds, plus antennas, and can detect unknown obstacles at distances greater than 2.5km. It is operational day or night and in all types of weather. BAE Systems says it is also is developing a commercial version of the system.