RAH-99 COMMANDO | ARMED RECONNAISSANCE HELICOPTER
The RAH-99 Commando is an evolution of the multi-nationally designed RAH-13 Habu, designed to conduct armed air reconnaissance, observation, and close-air escort support for a variety of Military forces.
The RAH-99's is capable of seeking out enemy forces and designating targets for attack helicopters, artillery, and other fire assets even at night, in adverse weather, and in battlefield obscurants, using advanced infrared sensors. The helmet has FLIR images and overlaid symbology that can be used as a headup display in nape-of-the-earth (NOE) flight.
The aircraft has been designed to emit a low-radar signature (stealth features). The Commando can perform the attack mission itself for the lighter units such as light infantry divisions. The Commando can be used as a scout and attack helicopter to include an air-to-ground and air-to-air combat capability.
The Commando's mission equipment package consists of a turret-mounted cannon, night-vision pilotage system, helmet-mounted display, electro-optical target acquisition and designation system, aided target recognition, and integrated communication/navigation/identification avionics system.
Targeting includes a second generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, a low-light-level television, a laser range finder and designator, and a millimeter wave radar system. Digital sensors, computers and software enable the aircraft to track and recognize adversaries long before they are aware of the Commando's presence, a key advantage in both the reconnaissance and attack roles.
Aided target detection and classification software automatically scan the battlefield, identifying and prioritizing targets. The target acquisition and communications system for allow burst transmissions of data to other aircraft and command and control systems. Digital communications links enable the crew unparalleled situational awareness, making the Commando an integral component of the digital battlefield.
In the reconnaissance role, the Commando is equipped with a new generation of passive sensors and a fully integrated suite of displays and communications. Advance infrared (IR) sensors have twice the range of past generations. The Commando is equipped with the Helmet Integrated Display and Sight System (HIDSS). The fully integrated avionics system allows tactical data to be overlaid onto a digital map, allowing the crew to devote more time for target detection and classification. A triple-redundant fly-by-wire system can automatically hold the helicopter in hover or in almost any other maneuver, reducing workload, allowing the pilot to concentrate on navigation and threat avoidance. A hand-on grip permits one-handed operation.
The Commando incorporates more low-observable stealth features than any aircraft in rotary wing history. The Commando's radar cross-section (RCS) is less than that of a Hellfire missile. To reduce radar cross-section, weapons can be carried internally, the gun can be rotated aft and stowed within a fairing behind the turret when not in use, and the landing gear are fully-retractable. The all-composite fuselage sides are flat and canted and rounded surfaces are avoided by use of faceted turret and engine covers. The Commando's head-on RCS is 360 times smaller than the AH-64 Apache, 250 times less than the smaller OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, and 32 times smaller than the OH-58D's mast-mounted sight. This means the Commando will be able to approach five times closer to an enemy radar than an Apache, or four times closer than an OH-58D, without being detected.
The Commando only radiates one-half the rotor noise of current helicopters. Noise is reduced by use of a five-bladed rotor. The fantail eliminates interaction between main rotor and tail rotor wakes. The advanced rotor design permits operation at low speed, allowing the Commando to sneak 40% closer to a target than an Apache, without being detected by an acoustical system.
The Commando only radiates 25% of the engine heat of current helicopters, a critical survivability design concern in a low-flying tactical scout helicopter. The Commando is the first helicopter in which the infrared (IR) suppression system is integrated into the airframe. This innovative design feature provides IR suppressors that are built into the tail-boom, providing ample length for complete and efficient mixing of engine exhaust and cooling air flowing through inlets above the tail. The mixed exhaust is discharged through slots built into an inverted shelf on the sides of the tail-boom. The gases are cooled so thoroughly that a heat-seeking missile cannot easily find and lock-on to the Commando.
The RAH-99 features a crew compartment sealed for protection against chemical or biological threats, an airframe resilient against ballistic damage, enhanced crash-worthiness, and reduced susceptibility to electromagnetic interference.