Communications, electronic warfare and radar provide opportunities for Cassidian, ITT Exelis, Northrop Grumman
Boston, MA - June 25, 2012 – The Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service report, "Defense Electronics Industry Review: May 2012," provides a review of significant defense industry news, including product announcements, milestones, contract activity and defense industry financial performance. The move towards next generation systems will be underpinned by new (semiconductor) technologies while the US Navy is already looking ahead to the 2030s for a new fighter.
Even though the JSF has yet to make its operational debut, the US Navy is already putting forth a Request for Information (RfI) for a new fighter, which would be available in the 2030s as a replacement for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and could be either manned or unmanned. In the short term, unmanned platforms remain in focus, centered on the announced Northrop Grumman deal for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, which includes five Block 40 Global Hawk UAS.
"New technologies will underpin these new platforms and the capabilities that they bring," noted Asif Anwar, Director of the ADS service at Strategy Analytics. "For example, the Block 40 UAS platforms for the AGS program will utilize the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor which uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology using compound semiconductors, like gallium arsenide (GaAs)."
Other examples include the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) electronic warfare program, which is providing opportunities for companies such as ITT Exelis, and will reportedly use AESA technology based around gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors. Finally, Cassidian is using GaN technology for the electronic components that will be used for the German Armed Forces' new software-defined radio communications system, KommSysBw.
Eric Higham, ADS Service Director North America, added, "There is also continued activity around laser weapons. Northrop Grumman is testing products and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) is looking to develop another laser prototype."