March 27, 2014. Marvin Test Solutions (formerly known as Geotest-Marvin Test Systems) has announced new enhancements to its MTS-3060 SmartCan, a universal O-level aircraft armament test set for legacy aircraft employing smart weapons. With the new SmartCan enhancements, maintainers now can test the full functionality of the AIM-120 interface by emulating the missile.
Today, 4th and 5th generation aircraft, like the F-16, are equipped with smart (MIL-STD 1553 and 1760) weapons technology and enhanced legacy weapons. These aircraft demand rapid, on-aircraft test and troubleshooting capabilities, a simplified test process, and a smaller test footprint on the flightline to ensure efficient operation. Currently, armament circuits preload test sets (ACPTS) require additional, big-box test equipment to fully and accurately verify that sophisticated armament and munitions systems are full mission-capable (FMC), and in some cases, this combination can’t even meet testing requirements. Therefore, maintainers need new testing capabilities to support today’s smart weapons, including interfaces such as AIM-120.
With the compact SmartCan test set, Marvin Test Solutions aims to meet the testing needs of today’s smart weapons while overcoming system obsolescence. SmartCanTM is capable of standardizing and consolidating armament test equipment across 4th and 5th generation aircraft, including F-5, Hawk, TA/ FA-50, A-10, F-15, F-16, and F-18.
“SmartCan, a test set that is capable of testing not only the continuity, but also the functionality of the MIL-STD-1760 bus ensures higher mission readiness and lowers the cost of flightline equipment,” said Major General Steve Sargeant, USAF (Ret.) and CEO of Marvin Test Solutions. “Our new test capabilities for AIM-120 enhance the capabilities of the proven SmartCanTM, a platform already successfully qualified and deployed on F-5, Hawk, TA/ FA-50, F-16 Block 15 and Block 50, and F-15C aircraft. These capabilities have been globally recognized by organizations including the Air National Guard, which is now including the SmartCan in a pending evaluation of flightline test equipment for the F-16.”
Improving flightline test
The MTS SmartCan is capable of fully emulating smart weapons such as JDAM during pre-load armament test. Furthermore, it can evaluate the full functionality of the MIL-STD-1760 bus interface between the armament and aircraft. With the new SmartCanTMenhancements, maintainers now can test the full functionality of the AIM-120 interface by emulating the missile.
The hand-held, AA battery-operated SmartCan universal flightline test set weighs less than three pounds and packs the capability to conduct full pre- and post-load operations as well as possessing pre- and post-flight audio and video channels for troubleshooting legacy systems such as AIM-9 and AGM-65. It can be tailored and expanded to accommodate armament loaded on any 4th or 5thgeneration aircraft, and can troubleshoot many of the problems encountered by maintainers.