The US Army will continue testing of enhanced manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-TX) capabilities for its Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopter and hopes to complete them by this year.
It will also carry out tests on a host of upgrades known as Version 6 for the helicopter, US Army programme manager Colonel Jeffrey Hager was quoted as saying by IHS Janes on the opening day of Association of the US Army's (AUSA's) annual conference.
“The MUM-TX and Version 6 capabilities will undergo operational testing for the rest of this year, with a test report due in early January 2017. That will then be fulfilled in [fiscal year] 2019 if it is successful," Hager said.
MUM-TX is expected to expand the set of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that the crew of the attack helicopter is able to control, including the current General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle and Textron Shadow Version 2 (V2) platforms and all other UAVs in service with the army, US Air Force (USAF), US Navy (USN), and US Marine Corps (USMC).
Meanwhile, the Version 6 improvements for the AH-64E are expected to include a new maritime targeting mode, as well as aided target detection/classification; multimode laser image blending; a radar frequency interferometer (RFI); passive ranging/range extension; fire-control radar enhancements; Longbow integrated maintenance support system ground analysis software improvement; an interactive electronic technical manual upgrade; and Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) embedded diagnostics. The upgrades are designed to be retrofitable onto the aircraft at the unit location.