DRS Technologies has successfully completed critical design review (CDR) for the US Army’s target location designation system (TLDS).
Carried out at the company’s US facility in Dallas, Texas, the review moves TLDS, also known as the Mojave programme, towards contractor and government testing.
The Finmeccanica subsidiary is using employees from both Dallas and Melbourne, Australia, to execute the engineering, manufacturing and development process and production for the Mojave programme.
DRS network computing and imaging systems vice-president and general manager Shawn Black said: "DRS employees at both facilities were crucial in the successful completion of this major milestone and the team is actively working towards testing the current production model of the Mojave system as they move into the next phase of the programme.
"Our suppliers on the programme were also key to the team’s success by building sample hardware while conducting early tests to demonstrate the significant technologies of the Mojave design."
The system is expected to revolutionise US Army field artillery operations through reduction in the size of existing systems, which make it difficult for manoeuvre commanders to conduct rapid target engagement when immediate strikes are required.
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Specifically, the system would be designed to provide forward observers with the ability to acquire, target and request fire in austere environments with precision strikes without the requirement for mensuration.
The system would be capable of reducing the time to obtain artillery rounds on target, as well as the amount of rounds needed for target destruction, while the added precision will in turn lower fratricide and collateral damage.
Since 2008, DRS has invested in the programme, facilitating the evolution of the system from the TLDS I through to the current engineering, manufacturing and development process, and eventually transitioning the system to production and deployment in 2016.
The company has collaborated with the Program Manager – Soldier Precision Targeting Devices (PM-SPTD) for more than four years to develop and understand required technologies to fill the army’s gap for precision targeting.