The first qualified LOAM (Laser Obstacle Avoidance and Monitoring) system, developed and manufactured by Finmeccanica -Selex ES, is now on board an Italian Army NH90 TTH. The helicopter has just been delivered to the Italian Ministry of Defence. The validation activity was managed in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Defence’s Direzione Armamenti Aeronautici e per l’Aeronavigabilità (ARMAEREO).
LOAM, developed and manufactured by Selex ES at its Genoa site, is a system for helicopters which makes them safer to fly. It is based on the latest eye-safe laser radar technology.
LOAM is able to detect all kinds of obstacles, even very thin ones, along the helicopter’s flight path. These include power lines, ropeway wires and pillars. This then allows the crew to safely change altitude or direction by taking appropriate measures in a timely fashion.
LOAM significantly increases the pilot’s situational awareness, particularly in cases of very low visibility. This ensures a safer flight, especially on low-altitudes missions.
Close collaboration between the Italian Ministry of Defence and Selex ES, combined with significant investment in technology research and development, has allowed the company to make major advances in laser radar technology. In addition, having spent many years working with the world’s major aircraft manufacturers, Selex ES has an in-depth knowledge of avionics technology and the operational needs of international customers.
The company provides avionics solutions that exploit the latest technology to secure an edge in the marketplace.
In addition to LOAM, Selex ES provides other airborne systems for Italian Armed Forces’ NH90s including a complete Communications, Navigation and Identification (CNI) capability, radar and mission systems.
Today, NATO NH90 is the major European helicopter programme in support of NAHEMA (the NATO Helicopter Management Agency) and is in service with many NATO countries’ armed forces. As an NHIndustries member (a consortium which also includes Airbus Helicopters and Fokker) Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland is involved in the production, assembly and logistic support of the helicopters. In Italy, these are manufactured at AgustaWestland’s Tessera, Venice site.