Data Fusion for Attack Helicopters
U.S. Army attack helicopters operating in Southwest Asia now can receive video and data from unmanned aerial platforms, enhancing situational awareness and reducing sensor-to-shooter times. The Video from Unmanned Aerial Systems for Interoperability Teaming-Level 2 (VUITTM-2) capability provides the crews of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with real-time streaming video and metadata shown on multipurpose displays. The VUITTM-2 can transmit both Apache and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) video via a mini-tactical common datalink to troops equipped with One System Remote Video Terminals. Army officials explain that the capability enables Apache aircrews to stream imagery to ground units such as Stryker vehicles on combat patrols. The real-time video provides immediate intelligence so that commanders can plan safer alternate routes. The live UAS data also allows Apache crews to locate and engage time-critical targets quickly. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, the VUITTM-2 was designed and fielded in less than seven months as part of a rapid fielding request from the U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff.