ITT will supply its AN/ALQ-211 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare system (AIDEWS) pod to Pakistan, which is upgrading older F-16s for commonality with newer Block 52 aircraft from Lockheed Martin that started delivering in 2010. ITT will provide 18 ALQ-211(v)9 pods, an upgrade over the previous ALQ-131 electronic countermeasures pod on the aircraft. The V9 pod provides digital radar warning, high-power jamming, threat geolocation and situational awareness, using line replaceable units interchangeable with LRUs from internal AIDEWS systems on international F-16s.
The Pakistan requirement is the first production order for the ALQ-211(v)9 pod. “This pod-mounted system brings electronic warfare (EW) technology to our allies at much less expense,” said Rich Sorelle, v-p of the ITT Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems business unit. “Since AIDEWS is based on our modular, scalable EW technology, future maintenance and upgrade costs for mixed F-16 aircraft fleets also will be lower because internal and external versions share the same components.”
The foreign military sale, contracted through Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, was authorized this summer, but only recently announced by ITT. The company also expected a letter of offer and acceptance to be signed with Oman, which last year requested 18 F-16 Block 50/52 aircraft with AIDEWS included among systems. AIDEWS is named as an optional electronic countermeasures pod for the upgrade of 145 F-16A/Bs operated by Taiwan’s air force, a possible sale made known to the U.S. Congress on September 21.
The sale of AIDEWS pods to Pakistan was requested in 2008. In a recent interview, ITT executives said the requirement helped launch the podded version of the ALQ-211 system. The contract win is “huge, and I expect we would proliferate across the F-16 marketplace, as that upgrade is significant over the existing ALQ-131 pod that previously protected the aircraft,” said Bob Ferrante, ITT Airborne and Electronic Attack division general manager. He said some 1,500 F-16s would be candidates for the V9 pod.
ITT said more than 160 internal AIDEWS systems are under contract for six countries as part of the company’s FMS program. To date, 134 systems have been delivered.