13 Juli 2010
Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) capability (all images : AgustaWestland)
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Thales unveiled an enhanced Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) capability, at RNAS Yeovilton on 10th July during the Fleet Air Arm’s annual Air Day. The low cost, low risk capability builds upon the combat proven Sea King Mk7 ASaC Cerberus mission system and Searchwater 2000 radar, to provide enhanced operational effectiveness through the use of the next generation AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter. AgustaWestland and Thales have teamed to jointly explore the potential for this capability in advance of the keenly expected MoD requirement to replace the Sea King Mk7 ASaC aircraft after its planned retirement in 2016.
Nick Whitney, Senior VP UK Government Business Unit, AgustaWestland said “The AgustaWestland solution will deliver an enhanced, cost effective and low risk capability which exemplifies the role of an ASaC capability fit for the 21st century. The solution we have developed capitalises on the substantial investment already made by the MoD in both the helicopter and the excellent Thales Cerberus mission system and radar.” Ed Lowe, Chief Operating Officer of Thales UK said, “Sea King Mk 7 is a highly successful ASaC platform which has proved itself over land and sea. Thales looks forward to working with AgustaWestland to develop a proposal to transfer our Cerberus mission system to the AW101 platform. I am confident this will offer our customer a low cost, low risk method of delivering ASaC well into the future with no capability gap”.
The palletised Searchwater 2000 radar is deployed through the rear ramp aperture when in operation and stows in the cabin when not in use, enabling rapid transit between tasking. Two aft-facing modernised mission crew stations are located at the forward end of the cabin. The following key features and benefits are also included:
• Long range, look up/look down air, land and sea capability
• Human Machine Interface optimised for two man operation
• Fully integrated Link 16 Command and Control capability
• Modern platform extends 360 deg radar horizon and significantly increases mission range and endurance.
The palletised ASaC equipment also enables a front line re-role capability delivering greater aircraft utility. The ASaC equipment could be role fitted to all AW101 utility variants.