Military Transports to Safely Fly Low-Level IFR with new Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA)

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Elbit Systems and Northrop Grumman Collaborate in Developing Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) System to Improve Tactical Low-Level Flight Safety for Military Transport Planes. Photo: Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems and Northrop Grumman Collaborate in Developing Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) System to Improve Tactical Low-Level Flight Safety for Military Transport Planes. This new capability could be integrated into the IAF upgrade. Photo: Elbit Systems
The Head-Up Display view of the TF/TA system developed for the C-130. Photo: Elbit Systems
The Head-Up Display view of the TF/TA system developed for the C-130. Photo: Elbit Systems

An innovative Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) system under development at Elbit Systems, in cooperation with Northrop Grumman, will enable pilots to fly and maneuver more safely in Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) flight mode under all weather conditions, day and night.

The two companies will display the new system at the C-130 Hercules Operators Council organized by the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin in Atlanta, later this month.

Under the collaborative deveplopment, Elbit Systems’ TF/TA head-up display (TA/TF HUD) application is coupled with Northrop Grumman’s AN/APN-241 Terrain Following Radar for an avionic upgrade for existing or new C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The TF/TA HUD demonstrator is expected to fly within the upcoming year on an international customer’s C-130 Transport Aircraft.

The TF/TA system relies on a Digital Terrain Elevation Database and the Terrain Following Radar as an active sensor, driven and controlled by Elbit Systems’ Smart Displays. Implemented as part of a “Glass Cockpit” concept, the system is positioned as a competitive and attractive enhancement for C-130 modernization and upgrading.

The system evolved in Elbit Systems’ Futures Lab, the company’s innovation center tasked with rapid prototyping and proof of concept evolving aerospace systems. The TF/TA system has already been selected for integration into an ongoing C-130 upgrade program.

AN/APN-241 weather/terrain avoidance radar from Northrop Grumman is used on the C-130J and C-27J tactical transport aircraft
AN/APN-241 weather/terrain avoidance radar from Northrop Grumman is used on the C-130J and C-27J tactical transport aircraft

Northrop Grumman’s AN/APN-241 radar has been selected as the standard radar for the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules and Alenia C-27J transport aircraft. Additionally, the AN/APN-241 radar has been integrated and installed on the CASA C-295 transport aircraft.

Elbit Systems and Northrop Grumman Collaborate in Developing Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) System to Improve Tactical Low-Level Flight Safety for Military Transport Planes. Photo: Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems and Northrop Grumman Collaborate in Developing Terrain Following and Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) System to Improve Tactical Low-Level Flight Safety for Military Transport Planes. Photo: Elbit Systems