For example, the new system, based on the AESA multi-mission staring arrays has generated a radar picture in 120 seconds, compared to 40 minutes on rotating systems such as existing Sea King ASaC.7 or E-2C.
The company said it has already conducted comprehensive testing integrating radars, automatic identification system (AIS) and Electronic Support Measures (ESM) already available on the Merlin, to synthesize improved situational awareness picture for the crew. According to Aviation Week, the system also has Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NTCR) functionality. For mission control parts of the MH-60R SeaHawk systems were used, enhanced with air/air surveillance modes. Part of that integration has been demonstrated in Israel, using multiple radars and sensors, integrated on Elta’s B-737 flying testbed.
According to Lockheed Martin, every standard Merlin MK2 could be converted for the ASaC role in three hours. Helicopters geared to carry the ASaC payload will have special wiring installed but will not require structural changes, as the pods will be carried on the Merlin’s existing weapon pylons. These pylons are designed to carry lightweight torpedoes supporting the helicopters’ Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. According to Lockheed Martin, the Merlin’s ASaC configuration using two Vigilance pods, operators stations and electronics racks will weigh less than the Merlin’s ASW configuration.