The U.S. Army is expected to award technology development contracts next month for a modular, lightweight infrared countermeasures system to defeat shoulder-fired missiles. BAE Systems, ITT Exelis, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are the announced competitors for the Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) requirement.
Joint Electronics Type Designation System
The U.S. Navy stepped closer to the first carrier landing of an autonomous, unmanned aircraft following the July 2 carrier touchdown of a manned F/A-18D surrogate aircraft. It is equipped with the same avionics and software planned for the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft.
Northrop Grumman, named to supply its large-aircraft, infrared-countermeasures (LAIRCM) system on the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker, recently demonstrated a podded version of the infrared-countermeasures system on the aircraft the tanker will replace, the KC-135.
As the culmination of a jointly funded cooperation program between Italian electronics house Elettronica and the Elop business of Elbit Systems, the Israeli company yesterday announced a $15 million contract to supply directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems for installation on Italian aerial platforms, including the Lockheed Martin C-130J and Alenia C-27J transports, and AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters.
Raytheon has used its missile experience to develop an infrared countermeasures (IRCM) capability that is vying to provide a LAIRCM (large-aircraft IRCM) solution for the U.S. Air Force’s fixed-wing platforms, and a CIRCM (common IRCM) system for the U.S. Army’s helicopters. A recent test series was conducted with great success.
Selex Galileo is the largest supplier of airborne electronic warfare (EW) equipment in Europe, and third only in the world behind BAE Systems North America and Northrop Grumman. This part of the Italian group’s business is in the hands of UK-based operation, which now boasts annual revenues of nearly £600 million ($980 million) and an order book of well over £1 billion ($1.64 billion).
Rafael is promoting a new version of the very successful Litening pod here at Paris, after celebrating the 1,000th sale of this targeting and navigation system. It has also developed a multi-sensor ground station from one that it previously built to handle imagery from the Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance pod.
The Patriot air defense missile system was designed by Raytheon and first fielded in 1984. Four years later, a missile defense capability was added, mainly through changes to the guidance software. In the 1991 Gulf War, the system had mixed success against Iraqi short-range Scud missiles, and it became clear that its blast-fragmentation warhead was inadequate to the task.
Two Kaman K-Max Aerial Trucks configured for unmanned operation are being prepared for delivery this summer to meet the urgent resupply requirements of U.S. Marine Corps troops in Afghanistan.
On the first day of the IDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi, the UAE announced that it is to upgrade 23 Black Hawk helicopters to an armed UH-60M standard. Worth over $270 million, the contract was placed with Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, with the work to be performed mainly by AMMROC, a joint venture between ADAT and Sikorsky. The U.S. company also received a $17.6 million contract for UH-60 training.