Not too long ago I watched a show on the Discovery Channel that showed some of the helicopter combat operations during the Gulf War. The thing that stuck out in my mind was the pilots talking about how hard it’s for them to locate ground fire and fire back when the enemy is targeting them. The difficulty is so great that one of the helicopters was being fired on by tanks and still couldn’t locate the enemy to fire back.
The Apache attack helicopters of the US Military are getting a new upgrade that will help them to locate the source of ground fire, so they can fight back. The new system that is being put into the Apache Longbow helicopter over the next 12 months is called the Networked Ground Fire Acquisition System or GFAS. The system is an offensive targeting system that will use IR cameras to scan for muzzle flashes from enemy fire.
The processor in the Apache will process the data and then displays the location of the fire on the screen for the Apache crew to target. The system will also alert any ground forces in the area of the location of the bad guys at the same time the pilot targets the location. The system can detect weapon fire in light or dark conditions and has a 120-degree field of view within a 5-meter target zone.