Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: HELLAS-A, HELLAS-W and MilOWS
Parent System: HELLAS
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2001
Total Production: ?
Description: HELLAS is an helicopter-mounted obstacle warning system developed by EADS for rotary-wing aircraft enhanced flight safety. HELLAS-W Helicopter Laser Radar Warning is placed under the aircraft's nose and can be fitted with an optional video camera. In addition to some cockpit hardware supporting visual and acoustic warning signals, HELLAS can be fitted with an LCD to show up obstacle imagery provided by the optional camera. The primary obstacles detected by HELLAS are wind power generators, trees, high voltage transmission lines and other wires that cannot be seen easily by the pilot.
HELLAS emits a laser beam, which is not harmful to the human eye, that scans the surroundings to detect thin wire at great distances and with high precision. When an obstacle has been detected HELLAS displays visual and acoustic signals to warn the pilot in order to take evasive actions. Operations at low altitude, in poor visibility and/or landing in unknown terrain are the cases for what HELLAS enhances flight safety. The primary market for HELLAS is the commercial helicopter segment.
EADS cleared HELLAS-W (-Warning) for operational use in September 2001 with the German Border Guard as the launch customer for its EC 135 and ED 155 helicopter fleet. The German Border Guard ordered 25 such systems with deliveries completed in 2002. In November 2001, the US Army selected HELLAS to undergo testing on the Apache, Chinook and BlackHawk helicopters. In August 2005, the Royal Thai Air Force received two Bell 412 EP VIP transport helicopters equipped with obstacle avoidance system HELLAS. To date, HELLAS has been successfully integrated onto UH-1D, CH-53, BK 117, EC 135, EC 145, EC 155 and Bell 412 rotary wing aircraft.
HELLAS-A (-Awareness) obstacle warning system is being developed to provide enhanced performance for the German Armed Forces NH90 tactical military transport helicopters. In late 2005, the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) was also evaluating HELLAS-A for potential application on rotary wing aircraft.
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