March 8/11: Raytheon announces a $42 million USAF contract for additional AN/AAQ-29A day/night surveillance and targeting turrets. They’ll be installed in the US Air Force’s HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters, replacing earlier generation AN/AAQ-16 systems. Deliveries are expected to be complete by February 2013.
The AN/AAQ-29A is a lightweight, high performance FLIR that incorporates a 480 x 640 element, 3-5 micron wavelength indium antimonite detector and a three field of view telescope on a 12-inch diameter turret. Small and powerful, Raytheon’s Q-29A can support a variety of helicopter missions, from low-level navigation to high altitude long-range targeting. Previous contracts have installed the turrets in US Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallions, and they will also be installed on the forthcoming CH-53K. US Army UH-60Q and HH-60L MEDEVAC aircraft have their own contracts for surveillance turrets, but they chose FLIR Systems’ AN/AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE II.