Components > Defense Blog

Next generation EW looks to leverage phased arrays and GaN technology

by Asif Anwar | 2月 13, 2012

In electronic warfare (EW) the US Army Contracting Command, MICC, Aberdeen Proving Ground awarded BAE Systems E&IS, Electronic Warfare - Information Dominance Systems (IDS) a contract for procurement of SIGINT Traveler Pod (T-Pod) Systems for the MQ-1C Sky Warrior / Gray Eagle UAS while ITT Exelis has successfully installed and tested an advanced self-defense electronic warfare system on F-16 aircraft operated by an international customer.

Looking ahead, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon joined forces to compete for a US Navy contract that will upgrade the fleet's capability to electronically attack anti-ship missiles.

Through its Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 upgrade, the Navy seeks to cost effectively enhance the electronic attack capability of its AN/SLQ-32 V(3) and V(4) EW systems to counter threat technology advances. All US aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships use the AN/SLQ-32 EW system.

Staying with EW, the team of ITT Exelis and Boeing has successfully successfully demonstrated multiple critical technology elements, including digital beam-forming, mid band and high band power amplifiers as part of the U.S. Navy Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) program’s technology maturation phase.

The digital beam-forming technology demonstrated recent advancements made in broad band electronically steerable antenna arrays which have come through the use of AESA technology in the radar field. As discussed during the Strategy Analytics webinar, “AESA Radar Trends: Fast-jets and Beyond” AESA technology is starting to extend beyond radar into EW and communications applications and the NGJ program is one example.

Another aspect discussed in “AESA Radar Trends: Fast-jets and Beyond” is the move towards GaN-based technology and NGJ program again affirms our prediction that GaN technology will become a pivotal technology for future generations of radar, communications and EW systems.

Other developments in the first month of January 2012 included Harris Corporation reporting several communications contracts. In the weapons area, MBDA was awarded the FLAADS Demonstration Phase Contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to develop the SEA CEPTOR naval air defence system. Finally, in radar applications, Raytheon received additional contracts for maintenance of the COBRA DANE radar facility while Elta Systems anticipates the first sale of its developmental system as Airbus Military completed initial flight test activities on an AEW&C derivative of its C-295 medium transport.

To read more about defense industry events in January, see Defense Electronics Industry Review: January 2012 which covers defense industry news for the month of January, covering radar, electronic warfare, weapons systems and communications. The report also looks at microwave, optoelectronic and other components discussing business event, product announcments, milestones and contract activity.

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