The U.S. Air Force (USAF) approved full-rate production of the Sniper advanced targeting pod under its ATP-Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) program, manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced on January 16. In November, the service approved full-rate production of Northrop Grumman’s Litening pod under the same program.
The U.S. Army plans to acquire up to 7,000 advanced, “software-defined” radios for its helicopters in a successor program to the disbanded Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) effort. In a recent notice, the service said it will issue draft performance requirements for the Small Airborne Networking Radio (SANR) program this month, followed by a draft request for proposals in the summer.
Accord Technology’s NexNav mini GPS receiver is now available to provide the GPS solution for Trig’s TT31 ADS-B out transponder. The combination of the NexNav mini and Trig TT31 meets the FAA’s 2020 ADS-B out mandate, which requires a GPS source that meets specific accuracy requirements (TSO-C145c Class Beta 1). The TT31 retails for $3,349 and with the NexNav mini is installable under an approved model list in a variety of aircraft. The NexNav mini costs $5,775. Flight-testing was done in a Mooney M20.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and the U.S. Army have demonstrated a precision-guided mortar for use on small UAVs. The test, conducted under the Army’s Air Drop Mortar program, was intended to show a rapid target response capability sought by the Army, Marine Corps and special forces.
Lockheed Martin has revealed details of its new Ku-band imaging and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar, describing it as a next-generation system for small air vehicle applications, manned or unmanned. Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) division has named it Asars-3, reflecting the company’s heritage as developer of the first advanced synthetic aperture radar system for the SR-71 Blackbird. Asars-2 was another X-band system, developed for the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft by Raytheon.
Northrop Grumman has improved the range and reduced the weight of its AN/ZPY-1 StarLite multimode surveillance radar, which the company is proposing as a sensor for the U.S. Army’s RQ-7B Shadow, the Navy’s future MQ-8C Fire Scout and other manned and unmanned aircraft.
Photographs have recently appeared on Chinese Internet sites showing a Xian Y-7 transport aircraft that has been heavily modified to serve as a testbed for a carrier-borne airborne early warning and control (AEW) aircraft. These recent photos follow one that appeared in May 2011, which provided the first grainy visual evidence of development of a “Chinese Hawkeye” by Xian.
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are moving forward with competing solutions for the guidance section of a future joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) under a continued technology development (CTD) phase. Restructured in response to reduced funding, the Army-led effort will initially focus on the missile’s front-end guidance section, leaving the warhead, motor and control actuation to a later phase.
While the Iranian capture of the Sentinel caught public attention, it also allowed researchers to show that spoofing technology has been, and continues to be, closely investigated by a number of military and civilian facilities in the United States.
Last December an old, rarely used word–spoofing, –meaning to hoax or to fool others–entered worldwide aviation vocabularies virtually overnight. Simultaneously it brought a new and disturbing strategic escalation to military tactics and a potential, albeit probably lesser, threat to civil aircraft operations.