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BAE Systems supplying mission planning system for Wildcat helos

By Richard Tomkins
An AW 159 Wildcat of the Royal Navy. Photo: Si Ethell/UK Ministry of Defense.
An AW 159 Wildcat of the Royal Navy. Photo: Si Ethell/UK Ministry of Defense.

LONDON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A mission planning system customized for Britain's AW 159 Wildcat helicopters is being delivered to Britain's Ministry of Defense by BAE Systems.

The system that will be used by Wildcats of the Royal Navy and Army Air Corps is called the Combined Arms Gateway Environment, or CAGE, system, which is already used on the Royal Navy's Merlin II helicopter fleet.

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The system is used in planning, briefing, rehearsing and executing a mission and for mission support.

"CAGE allows pilots to do lot of detailed planning in advance which would otherwise have to be done in the air," said Dave Rawlinson of BAE Systems' Military Air and Information. "On take-off, pilots know that they are flying with a plan which is not only achievable but tactically astute.

"The plan is loaded to the aircraft's tactical computer with navigation systems providing route information and annotating moving map displays with the operational situation."

BAE Systems said CAGE, which passed critical design review and acceptance testing late last year, will be brought into service for Wildcat helicopters beginning this month.

The contract from the Ministry of Defense is worth about $4.9 million.

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