A little over two weeks ago, Harris Corp. completed the acquisition of electronic warfare (EW) experts Exelis and with it gained a next-generation system that is in development to provide a smart capability to meet increasingly complex EW environments. Known as Disruptor SRx, the system has reduced SWaP (size, weight and power) requirements to meet the needs of unmanned platforms.
It was unveiled at the Association of Old Crows symposium, held in Washington, D.C., last October. Whereas traditional EW systems have used a series of different modules, each configured for one particular purpose, Disruptor SRx can be programmed to perform a wide variety of missions using the same hardware modules. The system can be used for electronic protection, intelligence, support missions and attack functions, as well as for communications jamming and cognitive EW.
Using the same hardware for many missions has numerous advantages, not least of which is the reduction in lifecycle costs by eliminating the need for multiple spares supply chains. The modular, open-architecture nature of Disruptor SRx allows multiple units to be combined into large EW systems that can perform a range of functions simultaneously–there are interfaces to link the EW system into mission computers that fuse data from various sensor groups into a larger situational picture.
Customers can reprogram the system to tailor the platform to perform the mission of the moment in a matter of minutes. Once installed in the platform, the system can be reconfigured for different EW functions simply by reprogramming, without having to remove and replace modules. Along with the system itself, customers can acquire their own programming tools so that they can create their own mission data files.
Disruptor SRx is applicable to a wide range of air, sea and land platforms. The system itself is small, with lower SWaP requirements than traditional systems. This makes it of special interest to the unmanned community, where the SWaP burden is one of the most important considerations. The ability to combine multiple capabilities into a small package has opened up new platform possibilities for Disruptor SRx.
Harris reports that the Disruptor SRx is currently at technology readiness level (TRL) five, with capability developed to a point where it can be demonstrated. These demonstrations have already garnered significant interest from a number of customers.
The company is working hard on development to increase TRL and expects to undertake flight qualification tests in the near future. A second phase of development will center around the ability to reconfigure the system mid-mission to perform different EW functions.