Components > Defense Blog

Program milestones and tests for radar and weapons systems in April

by Asif Anwar | 5月 12, 2011

This blog is reproduced from Asif Anwar's regular 'Expert Insights' column for the Microwave Journal Military Defence Column.

April saw a fair number of reports of test successes for major programs for various armed forces across the globe with activity in radar and weapons systems particularly prominent.

On the radar front, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman completed a significant milestone for the Cobra Judy Replacement program by delivering the CJR S-band active phased-array antenna to the CJR integration site at Kiewit Offshore Services, Corpus Christi, Texas. Meanwhile, Raytheon's JLENS (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System) successfully demonstrated tracking targets of opportunity in the Salt Lake City air space. Northrop Grumman started system tests of a new Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) being developed for use by the U.S. Navy onboard the MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS). Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin's Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment-Enabled Radar, TRACER, completed flight testing aboard a Predator B MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial System.

On the weapon systems front, Raytheon's SLAMRAAM (Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) system successfully destroyed an unmanned aerial vehicle target and intercepted a cruise missile target at White Sands Missile Range, N.M and also completed the first flight test of a Standard Missile-3 Block IA against an IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile). Northrop Grumman worked with the U.S. Navy to successfully demonstrate high-energy, solid-state laser defenses at sea by completing a "counter-material" test of the Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) against small boats. At the French DGA-Essais Missiles test centre in Biscarosse, South West France, a VL MICA missile launched from a ground based vertical launcher and controlled by a Tactical Operations Centre (TOC) developed by MBDA, intercepted a manoeuvring target flying at medium altitude and at a range greater than 15 km.

Merger & Acquisition activity in April continued at the same pace with eight defense-oriented mergers, acquisitions and similar partnerships in the past four weeks and defense sector contract orders also showed few signs of let up in the past month. Raytheon had a particularly strong month with accumulated contracts totalling around $400 million for April. Harris also maintained its contract momentum in the communications sector with several contracts including an agreement to supply the Canadian Navy with maritime wideband terminals.

Northrop Grumman demonstrated industry leading performance for its GaN modules conducting 180 days of continuous tests to validate the use of this technology for future radar, EW and communications systems. On the broader component front, US Navy researchers have put out requests for the development of innovative anti-tamper techniques so potential enemies cannot reverse-engineer U.S. military-critical technology.

Further analysis of the defense industry including business news, contracts and new product launches during the month of March can be found in the Strategy Analytics report, Defense Electronics Industry Review: April 2011.


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