ITT Creates Separate Defense Company and Boosts Investment

 - July 25, 2011, 4:50 AM
The jam head of ITT’s infrared-countermeasures system was developed for a U.S. Army requirement. (Photo: ITT)

ITT Corp. will spin off its defense segment into a standalone business–ITT Exelis–later this year. The new company will be based in McLean, Va., and led by David Melcher, currently president of ITT Defense and Information Solutions, as CEO. The company’s 2011 revenue is estimated at $5.8 billion. Christopher Bernhardt will continue to lead the Electronic Systems unit in Clifton, N.J.

ITT’s technologies include phased-array antennas, beam formers and exciters used in airborne jammers and optical technologies associated with infrared countermeasures (IRCM).

Bob Ferrante, vice president and general manager of ITT's Airborne and Electronic Attack Division, said ITT has invested more than $30 million for the U.S. Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) program. While the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is lead platform for the system, the U.S. Army has identified a number of aircraft, including Marine Corps V-22 tiltrotors and Bell AH-1 helicopters, in the specification. ITT, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are competing for the program, with a down-select to two contractors expected in September.

ITT is one of four contractors–along with Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems–vying for the U.S. Navy’s NextGen Jammer (NGJ), which is currently in the technology-maturation phase. NGJ is designed to replace the current ALQ-99 jamming pod. It is expected to enter service on the EA-18G Growler around 2018, followed by the F-35 and possibly a future unmanned aircraft. Down-selection to two contractors for the technology-development phase, originally expected next spring, has shifted to later in 2012.