The Lightweight Computer Unit (LCU), under the army Common Hardware/Software (CHS) contract, is the main piece of hardware for the system. The LCU is a multipurpose piece of army hardware equipment, which has been modified under contract to perform various mission planning and development tasks. The use of the system will enhance, and eventually replace current paper-back and/or hard-copy methods of performing a number of mission planning and development, flight operation, and individual and collective tasks. The headquarters section of the aviation brigade and battalion, will have two LCUs each plus two to three liaison officer systems. The headquarters section of the aviation company will have one LCU each. Separate or stand-alone aviation companies will have additional LCUs depending on their mission. Additional peripherals include a Magneto Optical Drive (MO Drive), a data transfer receptacle (for loading data transfer cartridges), and a CD-ROM Drive.
The AMPS is a graphical user interface based mission planning tool that automates aviation tasks, and is subordinate to the Maneuver Control System (MCS). The system will provide the means necessary to generate mission data for use in either hard copy or electronic formats. The functions of the AMPS include tactical Command and Control (C2), mission planning, mission management, and mission rehearsal capabilities. It also possesses the capability to transfer mission data to the aircraft by means of a Data Transfer System. The functions of the AMPS can be broken down into three basic areas: tactical mission planning, mission management, and mission rehearsal functions. The tactical mission planning function includes planning tasks normally performed at the aviation brigade and battalion levels. The mission management function can be associated with the mission planning that occurs at the company and/or aircrew levels. The system will also be capable of providing output data to conduct mission briefings and mission rehearsals.AMPS provides interface to the Maneuver Control System (MCS), the intelligence community, and its associated networks. Since AMPS bridges between several aircraft (AH-64C/D, OH-58D, CH-47D, UH-60A, UH-60Q and RAH-66) and information systems, the mission need for AMPS is established by those systems. In addition, it is dependent upon data from the following sources: DMA, RBECS, flight performance libraries.
Based on an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) and the AMPS acquisition strategy (evolutionary acquisition), developmental and operational incremental capabilities have been established to facilitate system software design and release. The AMPS has been fielded to designated units. Under the ADM, the first unit was fielded in September 1996.