US sensor and weapon systems manufacturer L-3 KEO has developed a new ship-based electro-optical sensor system (EOSS) that has reduced the size, weight, and power requirements over the current MK 20 Mod 0 in use on US Navy surface combatants, US Coast Guard National Security Cutters, and a number of foreign surface combatants.
The MK 20 Mod X, displayed for the first time at the annual Surface Navy Association (SNA) symposium held 12-14 January in Washington, DC, was designed with three primary functions: EOSS/GWS integration, automatic target identification and tracking, and day/night video surveillance, according to L-3 KEO.
The Mod X was also designed to weigh 60% less than the current Mk 0, which weighs approximately 800 lb (362 kg).
"The MK 0 required two power units to operate the sensor. Through advances in technology, L-3 KEO was able to combine the two power supplies into a single system," company spokesman Joseph Fungaroli told IHS Jane's at the symposium on 13 January.
The Mod 0 required a crane to lift out each of the approximately 150 lb (68 kg) modules if the optics needed to be replaced. With the Mod X, the modules now weigh only 40 lb (18 kg) each and can be swapped out by ship personnel.
Changing out the optics is also much easier on the Mod X - the modules are held in place by six hex bolts. The system must be boresight aligned once the new optics are in place.
The Mod X brings improved reliability by replacing the Mod 0's mid-wave cooler. It also uses brushless DC motors.
The new system introduces multitarget tracking, improves the target identification range by two to three times over the Mod 0, provides a five-times wider field-of-view, and more than a 90° field-of-regard.
L-3 KEO's Scalable Modular Open Systems Approach offers a standard interface enabling integration with legacy gun systems and other fire control systems.