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A129 Mangusta Helicopter
A129 Mangusta Helicopter

The Italian army is testing a very advanced Israeli developed systems for use on its helicopters.

The proposed system is currently undergoing acceptance tests on the Italian Army’s Mangusta A129 helicopters. The A129 Mangusta (English: Mongoose) is an attack helicopter originally designed and produced by Agusta. It has continued to be developed by AgustaWestland, the successor company to Agusta, another variant having being exported to Turkey’s Army as well.

The system being tested is the Rafael TopLIte optronic payload. The Italians want the system to be used as the main targeting system of this helicopter that will also carry the company’s Spike anti tank missiles.

Toplite is a stabilized, multi-role, multi-sensor optronic payload, or day/night observation and targeting. The Toplite system enables observation, target detection, recognition and identification by the use of various sensors including FLIR, CCD (charge-coupled device) and laser rangefinder.

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Toplite features both manual and automatic target tracking. The system includes various sub-systems. The system includes a 3rd generation FLIR and a B/W or color CCD sensor.

The TOPLITE EOS can be integrated on and/or slaved to other control systems for receiving/providing real-time data and direction to other users, such as any C4I centers, Combat Management System, EW system, Radar, navigation systems, weapon systems and others.

The TopLite system is currently offered as a standalone system or as part of a weapons package that includes a member of the Rafael Spike missiles family

The Rafael optronic systems have gained large popularity among many armed forces around the world. The “best seller” among these systems is the Litening targeting pod. All versions of this systems, is now being used by 30 customers around the world with over 1500 that have been supplied.

A new upgraded version of the Litening is now being offered by Rafael and its U.S partner Northrop Grumman, to the F-18’s of the U.S navy.