The U.S. Marine Corps awarded Northrop Grumman a $207 million modification to a previously awarded contract to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) of four ground/air task-oriented radar (G/ATOR) systems, plus spares and support. G/ATOR is the first Pentagon’s first program to develop a ground-based, multi-mission active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the company said.
Active Electronically Scanned Array
Elbit Systems of America provided more detail on the Center Pedestal Display (CPD) it is providing to Lockheed Martin for the F-16V upgrade. Along with a new AESA radar, the CPD is a key element of the upgrade, which is proceeding for 150 Taiwanese F-16A/Bs, while the U.S. Air Force struggles to fund the improvements for its own fleet.
Britten-Norman is promoting what it describes as “affordable” and “entry-level” C2/ISR configurations of its evergreen BN-2 Islander and Defender twin turboprops. At the recent Farnborough Airshow, the company displayed an airframe designated BN-2T-4S, also known as the Defender 4000, that it said is best suited for the role.
Diamond Aircraft is showing a maritime-surveillance version of the popular DA42 MPP Guardian, equipped with the company’s own radar, in the static park here at the Farnborough Airshow. Founder of the Austrian company, Christian Dries, told AIN that Diamond developed the spinning AESA radar in the past 12 months, because conventional radar houses could offer only a two-year lead time. Diamond’s radar weighs less than 20 kg (44 pounds), offers a range of 120 km (75 miles), and also includes AIS, the maritime equivalent of IFF. Endurance of the aircraft is 12 hours.
UTC Aerospace Systems and Selex ES announced they will jointly develop the TacSAR (tactical synthetic aperture radar) reconnaissance system, a long-range SAR system designed for overland and maritime reconnaissance and surveillance. TacSAR uses Selex active electronically scanned array radar technology.
The Eurofighter Typhoon IPA5 has arrived at Farnborough carrying precious cargo. Beneath the nose radome is the first flight- test example of the Euroradar Captor-E WFoR (wide field of regard) electronically-scanned radar. The sensor was installed only recently and, after a few shakedown flights, the aircraft was ferried south from BAE Systems’ airfield at Warton, Lancashire, for the show.
Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, a UAC subsidiary, comes to the Farnborough 2014 show boosted by a new Russian order for 16 MiG-29SMT single-seat, multirole fighters due for delivery by the end of 2016. Signing the $495 million order, Russia’s deputy defense minister Yuri Borisov said, “This order will make MiG feel more secure and look to the future with greater hopes…and provide a good starting point for setting up production of newer aircraft, such as the MiG-35.”
European companies, especially in the East, are continuing to refine passive ground-based technologies with the potential to detect stealth aircraft. The best known of these is the detection and correlation of emissions from aircraft–such as from radars, radar altimeters and other navigation devices–using ESM/ELINT techniques, sometimes known as passive emitter tracking (PET).
The U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft is progressing through its flight-test program, but still without a “sense-and-avoid” system that would protect against collisions with other aircraft. The program office said it is taking a “layered approach” to meeting the requirement until it finds a technology solution.
One of the messages that Raytheon has brought to Singapore is that the evolving technological capabilities of both air-to-air missiles and fighter radar must proceed hand-in-hand if an operator is to take full advantage of new performance gains. As radar-guided weapons increase in effective range capability, so better radars are required with sufficient performance to match that of the weapon.
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