New tracking system improves helicopter gunnery
February 12, 2013
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- This year the Army will start fielding a new training system that will more accurately track helicopter rocket firing.
The new Aerial Weapons Scoring System (AWSS) recently passed its government acceptance test at Fort Rucker, Ala. The new system for crews in Kiowa and Apache helicopters follows a 2010 TRADOC decision to improve helicopter scoring capabilities for rapid and paired rocket engagements during diving fire.
AWSS will now use one radar component to track the accuracy of helicopter rocket firing instead of the 16 acoustic sensors currently fielded.
"Radar will provide greater capability and accuracy for scoring diving fire engagements while reducing logistic footprint and damage risk. It will also be less expensive than an acoustic rocket box," said Ron Moring, chief of the Range Development Branch at TCM Live.
TCM Live at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., oversaw the Fort Rucker test in cooperation with the Project Manager for Instrumentation, Targets and Threat Simulators, which is part of the Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, Orlando, Fla.
The improved radar component has other advantages. It is easier and quicker to install its single radar component instead of 16 acoustic sensors, Moring said.
The new system is accompanied by improved software that will provide more thorough Unit Gunnery Summaries for Commanders and the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Gunnery Branch.
The summaries will be used to develop an Army-wide database to identify training challenges and validate ammunition resource requirements. Furthermore, it will enable leaders to spot trends that may need to be addressed at the individual, crew, unit, or branch level.
For example, if unit aircraft have a systemic accuracy issue such as rockets having too large of a beaten zone across the battalion, the issue can be identified and addressed utilizing the Rocket Pod Alignment Kit. Also, if certain wind conditions affect gun accuracy, crews can be made aware of this, making them more lethal during the first trigger-pull of combat engagements, Moring said.
The Army will field the new AWSS radar components to the four AWSS systems in Killeen, Texas, the Germany AWSS, and the Korea AWSS in 2013. The four Killeen AWSS systems and support teams will travel to support gunneries across the country. For video of the AWSS in action, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtnLP9gYyOc.
TCM Live is part of the Army Training Support Center and both are subordinate organizations of the Combined Arms Center -- Training (CAC-T) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
CAC-T manages, develops and integrates training support requirements, and training development programs and requirements that enable Army leader development, and unit and individual readiness to conduct Unified Land Operations across the conflict continuum.
Its website is: http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/CAC-T/; its Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/usacactraining; its Twitter handle is: @usacactraining