The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has chosen the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) for its pending upgrade of 134 F-16C/Ds, for delivery beginning in late 2016. The Koreans are the first to choose between the RACR and the rival Scaleable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) from Northrop Grumman, which previously supplied all radars for F-16s. At least another 500 F-16s belonging to Singapore, Taiwan and the U.S. Air Force could be upgraded with advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radars such as the RACR and the SABR.
Joint Electronics Type Designation System
Sandel Avionics is demonstrating its HeliTaws WireWatch helicopter wire-strike avoidance full-color display at Booth No. 6008. The Vista, Calif. avionics manufacturer has expanded the portfolio of national and regional powerline databases to all of North America and New Zealand, and it is assembling transmission line obstruction databases for South Korea and Japan.
Boeing and Elbit Systems signed a memorandum of understanding to offer Elbit’s directed infrared counter measure (DIRCM) system for international customers of Boeing fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
Israel-headquartered Elbit Systems has announced a series of successful flight tests on a system designed to protect large jet aircraft against shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles (Manpads, or man-portable air-defense systems). Designated C-Music, the defensive equipment was tested on board a Boeing 707.
C-Music, for commercial multi-spectral infrared countermeasures, is part of the company’s line of directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) solutions for protecting all types of aircraft from heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles in all operational conditions.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) approved full-rate production of the Sniper advanced targeting pod under its ATP-Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) program, manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced on January 16. In November, the service approved full-rate production of Northrop Grumman’s Litening pod under the same program.
In the current fiscal environment in which big-ticket missile programs have been shelved, restructured or cancelled altogether, Raytheon is looking at innovative ways to add capabilities to existing systems. “You’ve got to see what you can do with what you’ve got,” explained Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s v-p Air Warfare Systems. “The money’s not going to be there for the big programs, but the enemy doesn’t care about that, and we still need to address the shortfalls.”
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to provide four podded dismount detection radar (DDR) systems to the U.S. Air Force. The SAR/GMTI (synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator) sensors are for carriage by General Atomics MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper UAVs, and the new radars will provide operators with the ability to find and track individuals and vehicles. The Block 5 is the forthcoming upgraded version of the Reaper.
Last month Raytheon and Kongsberg conducted the first firing of the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) from the NASAMS (Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile system). The June 24 firing at Norway’s Andøya Rocket Range not only validated the ability to fire the ESSM with the system, but also the ability to integrate an older-generation Hawk high-power illuminator into the system.
Absent from Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS Dragon line-up is the most famous LM product to carry that name. True, the U-2 Dragon Lady is the responsibility of a different LM division–Aeronautics–but with the evergreen spyplane about to enjoy a new lease on life, it seems strange that LM has done little to promote what is arguably the most capable multi-intelligence aircraft ever built.
Here at the Farnborough International airshow Israeli electronics house Elbit Systems (Hall 1 Stand C14) is highlighting two new systems that expand the company’s portfolio in the field of aircraft protection. J-Music is a new DIRCM [directed infrared countermeasures] system intended for large aircraft, while the All-in-Small is a compact unified protection suite that has both fixed- and rotary-wing applications.