Navigation & Target Acquisition Systems


As complementary to the Modular Artillery Fire Control System (MAFCS), which is used at the Firing Unit level, Astronautics and Kearfott have successfully developed the Navigation and Target Acquisition System (NTAS) for use by Forward Observation Vehicle, to meet the increasing demands of the modern battlefield.
The NTAS enables the Forward Observer (FO) Officer to navigate to the pre-planed Observation location and to acquire the targets in a very fast manner. As soon as any target is acquired by the FO, its coordinates are calculated automatically by the system and can be sent to the Firing Unit Level for immediate engagement.

The NTAS system can be integrated into a variety of vehicles and/or systems for observation and target sighting. All system elements are mounted within the Cupola (except the VMS). The VRU and the LRF are mechanically coupled together so the VRU can measure LRF pitch and azimuth as targets are identified.

The system meets Modern Artillery requirements, consists of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components, is in full-scale production and has been extensively tested.

The NTAS consists of the following elements:

  • Vehicle Reference Unit (VRU)- Kearfott's MILNAV®, KN-4053, three-axis Monolithic Ring Laser Gyro (MRLG),  (embedded GPS -optional)
  • Control and Display Unit  & Tactical Computer (CDU&TC).
  • Laser Range Finder (LRF)
  • Vehicle Motion Sensor (VMS)
NTAS Block Diagram

Vehicle Reference Unit
The VRU performs all navigation, attitude, pointing and north finding functions with heading accuracy to better than 1 mil RMS and attitude accuracy to better than 0.5 mil RMS.
The GPS input channel is provided to achieve enhanced performance and to provide position for initialization and alignment on the move.
Vehicle Mobile Sensor
The VMS provides a continuous independent measurement of wheel or track speed to the VRU during vehicle movement for optimal system performance.
The CDU&TC is a rugged high brightness liquid crystal color display. It includes a powerful processor. The CDU&TC performs all system level management and processing tasks within the NTAS. The various functions can be defined as Commander MMI, overall system mode control and management (VRU, LRF, Radio and other optional units) and graphic display generation. Each of these functions is designed with software modularity to allow a flexible and customized approach by the Forward Observer Officer (FOO).
Laser Range Finder
The Laser Range Finder (LRF) provides 'range-to-target' measurement information to the CDU&TC for processing the Target Location in three dimensions for further engagement by the firing unit level.