McDonnel Douglas Helicopter was awarded a contract for $133,386, 899 to begin production of 11 remanufactured and one new-build AH-64D Apache helicopters, also known as the “Longbow.” The Apache is the U.S. Army’s principal attack helicopter, fitted with a 30mm M230 chain gun and capable of carrying a load of Hellfire missiles or a mixture of rockets. These helicopters are expected to be completed by 2011.
Along with this award, the U.S. Army granted International Enterprises, Inc. an $11 million contract to service and overhaul the Apache integrated helmet and display sighting system. This sighting system enables night navigation or navigation in adverse weather conditions, provides a wide field-of-view and an electro-optic head-tracking system that controls the movement of sensors and weaponry.
Breaking the Language Barriers
The Los Angeles P.D. recently purchased the Phraselator P2, a device that contains a library of customized phrases to help officers communicate with the public in their native tongue. In addition to acquiring the translation device, the LAPD also purchased Voxtec’s Module Builder PRO software that allows the department to create its own set of phrases using trusted human translators that can be utilized by the Phraselator.
LAPD representatives indicated that the department will expand the use of the device and its software to handle crowd-control situations, correctional inmate procedures, field sobriety test administration, as well as on routine traffic stops. “Restoring order in chaotic situations requires carefully-worded communication that can be understood by everyone within earshot,” said Sergeant Eric Lee. Visit Voxtec at voxtec.com.
New UAVs Take Down Taliban
British forces in Afghanistan will be given another tool to aid their efforts in the War on Terror. The United Kingdom announced in March ’08 that they will initially buy three Predator UAVs at £10 million each, eventually expanding their inventory to 12. The remotely-piloted aircraft will be operated by the Royal Air Force at Creech AFB in Nevada. The RAF will arm them with an assortment of bombs and Hellfire missiles.
The Predator’s UAV technology has evolved from a reconnaissance platform into a “hunter-killer” weapon system and can carry up to 3,000-lbs. of bombs for 24 hours. They are flown by line-of-sight operation and satellite. One of many noted successes, Al-Qaeda Commander Abu Laith al-Libi was reportedly killed in January ’08 as a result of a Predator missile strike. For more information visit General Atomics at ga.com.