Raytheon is currently involved in two major upgrade programs for the U.S. Air Force’s Eagle fleet, providing AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars for both the air defense F-15C/D and the multi-role F-15E. Both programs have recently achieved significant milestones.
Joint Electronics Type Designation System
Systems house Rafael produces a wide portfolio of sophisticated products, but here at the Farnborough airshow it is expecting significant interest in its reconnaissance sensors. At the top of the line is the RecceLite system, a derivative of the proven Litening targeting pod. RecceLite uses the same pod and infrastructure as the Litening, but is optimized for a variety of reconnaissance tasks from low, medium and high altitudes.
Following a successful series of trials in a U.S. Air Force F-16 that began late last year, Northrop Grumman’s SABR (scalable agile beam radar) has been refined to the point where the company says it is ready for production. Since receiving limited export clearance in February, Northrop Grumman has been actively marketing the radar upgrade to a number of F-16 users, and it hopes the U.S. Air Force will move ahead with an F-16 radar upgrade.
Blue-on-blue incidents have always been an unfortunate factor in warfare, but a series of tragic events in recent times has brought the subject into sharp focus, in turn driving a need to devise and improve the means by which friendly forces can be identified as such on the battlefield. The introduction of longer-ranged precision weapons has heightened the challenge in recent years.
Revue Thommen, a Switzerland-based manufacturer of aircraft instruments, air-data systems and components, is at Booth No. 1434 with a redesign of a helicopter searchlight system made by Russia's Transas. The new searchlight fills “a niche where current product offerings fail to meet the needs of the market,” said Thommen’s Rudolf Iten. The redesigned Thommen TSL 1600 searchlight will be certified under EASA and FAA standards.
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are going head-to-head with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar programs to update F-16 fighters and other fighters around the world. Northrop Grumman announced yesterday that it now has U.S. State Department licenses to talk to a number of export customers at DSP-5 level, a status that Raytheon announced for its proposals in November.
Lockheed Martin announced another order for Sniper targeting pods from the U.S. Air Force, and revealed that Saudi Arabia has recently become a customer, presumably to fit on its F-15 fighters. The Sniper provides high-resolution imagery for precision targeting or simply for monitoring the ground, in a role that has become known as nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Following a successful test last fall, Raytheon’s fifth-generation AIM-9X–the principal short-range air-to-air missile employed by U.S. forces–could become a part of the air-to-surface inventory for employment against both land and sea targets.
Goodrich ISR Systems has been on the acquisition trail and some of the resulting technology is on display here at the Dubai Airshow (Stand W360). Best known for the DB-110 aerial sensor it has sold to six countries, the Goodrich unit is now marketing additional aerial sensors after buying Recon/Optical Inc. (ROI) last year.