Weapons Control System Computer

COTS I/O and Processor Technology Controls Machine Guns

Engineers from SSAI (Support Systems Associates, Inc.) have selected commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) 3U CompactPCI technology from North Atlantic Industries (NAI) in Bohemia, NY to be used in the replacement Loader Weapon Control Panel (LWCP) and Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for the AC- 130U gunship. The LWCP provides user interface for gunner control of the 40-mm and 105-mm weapons installed on the gunship. The ECU takes the mission computer commanded position and senses feedback on actual gun position to control the dynamic aiming of the AC-130U trainable gun mounts.

The government requirements were to deliver form, fit, and functional replacement ECU and LWCP designs that maintained or exceeded the performance of the obsolete legacy equipment. NAI worked closely with SSAI engineers to select the exact hardware and firmware solution to meet all system needs. The final flight test results of the new ECU/LWCP system exceeded the requirements and improved the overall accuracy of the gunship, as well as the reliability and maintainability of the gun systems, which should result in real benefits for USAF warfighters.

The system uses a full complement of NAI’s rugged, 3U CompactPCI I/O boards (75DP3, 75C3) including A/D, D/A, Synchro/LVDT Measurement, MIL-STD-1553, RS422 functions; highly programmable discrete I/O; U2 processors; and power supplies (55LQ2) in both boxes.

The Lockheed/Boeing AC-130U gunship, commonly referred to as “Spooky” or “U-Boat,” is a heavily armed, side-firing weapons platform used for close air support, air interdiction, and armed reconnaissance missions. The U-model is the third generation of combat aircraft that evolved from the original AC-47 gunship. In addition to its 40-mm and 105-mm cannons and a 25-mm gatling gun, the AC-130U is also equipped with a highly sophisticated sensor suite and navigation control system that enables it to deliver precision or saturation firepower in all types of weather, day or night. Included in the sensor suite are infrared and television sensors, and a synthetic aperture strike radar that can detect long-range targets and identify them as friend or foe.

The AC-130U gunship has been in active service since 1995.

North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100 www.naii.com

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