L3 was contracted to provide MX-20 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging systems to the US Navy for installation on a number of P-8A POSEIDON Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA). Procured to support both US and Australian operations, the newly equipped P-8As will support worldwide naval missions conducted by the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
L3 WESCAM has a 20-year history of supporting the US Navy’s MMA missions with MX systems operating on its legacy P-3 aircraft. Additionally, L3 has provided the global maritime patrol community with over 250 operational MX-15, MX-20, and MX-25 systems.
The L-3 Wescam MX-20HD EO sensor system is for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability aboard high-altitude long-range maritime patrol aircraft and persistent surveillance missions. The pod-mounted sensor suite is suitable for fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and aerostats, company officials say. L-3 Wescam is the sole designer, developer, and manufacturer of the MX-20HD EO/IR system for use in the P-8A, and is the only source that is able to supply a system capable of meeting the P-8A requirements, Navy officials say. The government does not own the system’s technical data and drawings. The MX-20HD EO/IR system has multi-sensor imaging and lasing payload options, and can support as many as seven sensors simultaneously for HD imaging from visible-light and IR cameras. It also has three laser illuminator options. The system offers real-time image enhance for daytime, nighttime, and IR operations, and its inertial sensors work together to create accurate target location, automatic alignment to the aircraft, and automatic image focus. The sensor pod offers five-axis gimbal stabilization with an internal inertial measurement unit.
“This grouping of new orders for L3 WESCAM sensors is a direct reflection of our strategy to drive growth by engineering market-leading products and solutions,” Jeff Miller, President of L3’s Integrated Sensor Systems sector, said. “Our advanced imaging products are delivered to a diverse international customer base in both the defence and the broader security and public safety markets, and we see a robust pipeline of opportunities globally.”
“With more than 3,600 MX products fielded and an installed base that spans 78 countries, L3 WESCAM remains a sought after, trusted and proven partner,” Mike Greenley, President of L3 WESCAM, added. “We are proud to provide our stabilised MX-Series systems in support of evolving missions carried out by defence agencies at home and abroad.”