One of the messages that Raytheon has brought to Singapore is that the evolving technological capabilities of both air-to-air missiles and fighter radar must proceed hand-in-hand if an operator is to take full advantage of new performance gains. As radar-guided weapons increase in effective range capability, so better radars are required with sufficient performance to match that of the weapon.
Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Booth N51) has unveiled a new system to tackle short-range mortar and rocket threats, and close-in air threats such as UAVs. Rather than employing a projectile to destroy incoming threats, the new Iron Beam system uses a high-energy laser (HEL).
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which the Pentagon has identified as an F-35 program risk.
Vision system manufacturer Intevac Photonics of Santa Clara, Calif., planned to begin deliveries of new night-vision cameras for U.S. Army AH-64D/E helicopters this month, after receiving its largest-ever contract award from the service earlier this year.
The M611 camera, which contains the company’s ISIE (intevac silicon imaging engine) 11 sensor for low light level detection, replaces the existing camera in the Apache’s nose-mounted pilot night vision sensor (PNVS). The ISIE 11 sensor is also being integrated in the F-35 helmet-mounted display system (HMDS).
Late last month Raytheon announced that it had received contracts worth $71.7 million to continue upgrading its Patriot air and missile defense system for the U.S. Army. The latest contracts, which add a modernized radar digital processor (RDP) and modern man station (MMS), highlight the continuous development that is being applied to the Patriot to keep it at the forefront of the air defense arena. The Patriot system has now conducted 2,500 search and track tests, and around 1,000 flight tests.
Eurofighter has signed a new development contract with the four European partner nations for the Typhoon. The Evolution Package 2 (EP2) comprises various improvements to the combat jet’s avionics. Two days earlier, EADS Cassidian said that flight testing of an earlier set of improvements had been completed.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) last week notified Congress of another massive sale to Gulf countries by American companies. Saudi Arabia is buying air-launched weapons worth $6.8 billion for its new F-15SA Strike Eagles; the UAE is buying air-launched weapons worth $4 billion for its F-16s. The main U.S. contractors to benefit are Boeing (providing SLAM-ER and Harpoon missiles and small-diameter bombs) and Raytheon (providing JSOW missiles and Paveway “smart” bombs).
The U.S. Navy’s estimated $7 billion Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) development does not duplicate any existing airborne electronic attack capability. But the potential exists for some “overlap” with electronic attack systems being developed by other U.S. military services, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) advises.
American defense contractors are set to enjoy revenues of nearly $4.7 billion from Iraq, according to a series of arms sales notifications by the Pentagon to Congress in the past two weeks. The potential sales include an integrated air defense system worth $2.4 billion and 30 Bell 412EP helicopters worth $300 million. The deals include training and support.