All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Friend-or-Foe

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $26 million contract for Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) spares for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide Beamforming Networks (BFNs), an integral part of antenna control for the AN/APX-122A IFF Interrogator system, onboard the carrier-capable tactical aircraft.

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
Delivering situational awareness for U.S. Navy warfighters

«These sets will provide situational awareness and early warning for U.S. Navy sailors and warfighters», said Donna Linke-Klein, director of Tactical Systems at BAE Systems. «The Advanced Hawkeye is essential for battle management command and control, and our interrogator systems enable operators to identify friendly forces and make informed decisions in a variety of threat environments».

The AN/APX-122A IFF Interrogator system provides positive identification of friendly aircraft, giving E-2D Advanced Hawkeye operators the situational awareness, they need to safely complete their missions. These missions include command and control, border security, search and rescue, and missile defense. The AN/APX-122A IFF Interrogator system is produced exclusively for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, due to the extraordinary requirements for this aircraft.

BAE Systems’ IFF aircraft identification systems provide time-critical insights that reduce friendly fire incidents, support mission success, and save lives – especially in hostile environments. BAE Systems has been a leader in IFF systems technology for more than seven decades, having delivered more than 14,000 transponders, 1,500 interrogators, and 6,000 combined interrogator transponder systems for use across a multitude of platforms.

50kW-class laser

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, has been awarded a $123 million contract to build and deliver three additional combat-capable 50kW-class high-energy laser weapon systems as part of the U.S. Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD, program. RI&S is a subcontractor in an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement between the Army and Kord, a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR based in Huntsville, Alabama. The systems will be mounted on Stryker combat vehicles that the Army plans to deploy for field operations in 2022.

DE M-SHORAD
Raytheon Intelligence & Space to build mobile 50kW-class laser for U.S. Army

«The U.S. Army is leading the charge to give soldiers the first-ever operational capability of a mobile high-energy laser weapon», said Annabel Flores, vice president for Electronic Warfare Systems at RI&S. «Two years ago, the Army set a goal to deliver a powerful, maneuverable and proven laser system that was ready for operators to use in the field right away, and our team demonstrated that capability».

The award follows a U.S. Army DE M-SHORAD Combat Shoot-Off at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, this summer. RI&S’ solution was employed in a series of realistic scenarios designed to evaluate the performance of the system, establish threshold requirements for the laser and demonstrate its technical maturity and readiness. At the shoot-off, soldiers operated the system and effectively tracked, identified and engaged a variety of targets.

«In just a few days, soldiers went from training to operating the system and engaging targets to providing valuable feedback to our team that will help improve future systems», added Flores.

DE M-SHORAD will offer protection to maneuvering ground forces and equipment from threats such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS, rotary-wing aircraft, and rockets, artillery and mortars.

RI&S’ weapons system for DE M-SHORAD combines a 50kW-class High-Energy Laser, a beam director, an Electro-Optical and InfraRed (EO/IR) target acquisition and tracking system, and a Ku720 multi-mission radar. This gives soldiers an effective counter-UAS solution as well as providing counterintelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Work for DE M-SHORAD will be performed in McKinney, Texas.

Defensive laser weapon systems can complement kinetic weapons during field missions by providing a low cost per kill, speed-of-light delivery and a deep magazine limited only by vehicle fuel.

Previously, RI&S also delivered three high-energy laser systems to the U.S. Air Force. The systems have accrued more than 9,000 hours during operator training and operational assessment. Raytheon Technologies’ counter-UAS solutions include sensors, and kinetic and non-kinetic effectors that, when networked into a command-and-control system, provide layers of air defense and force protection designed to meet a variety of threats.

Assault Aircraft

On September 7, 2021 the Sikorsky-Boeing team released the following statement on the early submittal of the proposal for DEFIANT X for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).

DEFIANT X
DEFIANT X is a helicopter that offers high-speed performance while retaining traditional helicopter agility and maneuverability, delivering more combat power on the objective than other proposals for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft. While operating in the same footprint as the BLACK HAWK, DEFIANT X delivers transformational capability and affordability – including efficient sustainment, advanced manufacturing techniques and minimized training time and costs (Image courtesy Sikorsky and Boeing)

This statement can be attributed to Paul Lemmo, president, Sikorsky, and to Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager, Vertical Lift, Boeing Defense, Space & Security:

«Continuing a 75-year partnership with the U.S. Army, providing and sustaining the iconic BLACK HAWK, Chinook and Apache, the Sikorsky-Boeing team looks to the future with the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft – DEFIANT X. Today, Team DEFIANT completed and submitted the proposal for the U.S. Army’s FLRAA competition, offering low-risk, transformational capability that delivers on an Army critical modernization priority and advances the future of Army aviation. DEFIANT X delivers speed where it matters, survivability, unsurpassed power, maneuverability, superior handling in any environment and lower lifecycle costs – while operating in the same footprint as the BLACK HAWK. We are confident that DEFIANT X, supported by our longstanding Army industrial base suppliers, is the best choice for delivering overmatch on the Multi-Domain Operational battlefield in United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and across the globe».

GPS receiver

BAE Systems, Inc. unveiled its ultra-small MicroGRAM-M Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver compatible with next-generation M-Code military GPS signals that are resistant to jamming and spoofing. About the size of a postage stamp, MicroGRAM-M is the world’s smallest, lightest, and most power-efficient M-Code embedded GPS receiver – delivering assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) for size-constrained and other micro-applications.

MicroGRAM-M
World’s smallest M-Code military GPS receiver

«We’re delivering reliable PNT where our customers need it – from soldiers’ handheld devices to small unmanned aerial vehicles», said Greg Wild, director of Navigation and Sensor Systems at BAE Systems. «MicroGRAM-M provides our armed forces and allies with a low-SWAP M-Code GPS solution that’s resistant to adversaries’ disruption efforts in highly contested environments».

MicroGRAM-M features rapid secure GPS signal acquisition, enhanced security and resiliency, anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities, and the industry’s lowest power consumption for an M-Code device. The 1.0” × 1.25” × 0.275” MicroGRAM-M has the same physical dimensions as its predecessor, enabling quick upgradability to M-Code and reduced system integration costs. At its core is a proven, tamper-proof M-Code Common GPS Module that encapsulates classified data and signal processing.

«MicroGRAM-M is the latest BAE Systems M-Code military GPS product, joining MPE-M and NavStrike-M, which deliver enhanced awareness in highly contested environments and precision munitions guidance», said John Watkins, vice president and general manager of Precision Strike & Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. «Qualification of MicroGRAM-M is underway, with full-rate production expected in 2022».

Prototype Sensor

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, has received an award through an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the Consortium Management Group, Inc., on behalf of the Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) to demonstrate, develop, build and integrate prototype sensors for the U.S. Army’s next generation airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, called High-Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System, or HADES.

HADES
Raytheon Intelligence & Space to provide prototype sensor for U.S. Army’s HADES

«In future peer-to-peer conflicts, long-distance sensing from very high altitudes will be key to enabling our forces to achieve their objectives for long-range, precision fires», said Michael Fisher, vice president and general manager of Raytheon Applied Signal Technology (AST) at RI&S.

The Other Transaction Authority agreement is for Phase 1 of the HADES Multi-Domain Sensing System, or MDSS, program to provide electronic intelligence and communications intelligence sensors. RI&S will demonstrate system capabilities that will help inform the design, upgrades and prototype fabrication of future phases of the program.

«Raytheon AST has a 35-plus year history of developing intelligence-collection sensors, as well as high-speed signal processing», said Fisher. «And solutions across RI&S cover a broad range of mission requirements that could define the future HADES program».

HADES will be a globally deployable platform that provides multi-faceted sensing capabilities at higher altitudes and longer ranges, and with longer endurance than current platforms.

Effort sponsored by the U.S. Government under Other Transaction number W15QKN-17-9-5555 between the Consortium Management Group, Inc., and the Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.

The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.

Air Launched Effects

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, successfully conducted its first flight test of an Air-Launched Effects (ALE) drone based on the company’s Coyote uncrewed aircraft system design. The ALE air vehicle design meets the U.S. Army’s defined specifications for size, weight and power requirements for the Future Vertical Lift program.

Air Launched Effects (ALE)
An Area-I Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated, Unmanned System, or ALTIUS, sails through the skies at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, March 4 where the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center led a demonstration that highlighted the forward air launch of the ALTIUS (Photo by Jose Mejia-Betancourth/CCDC AvMC Technology Development Directorate)

For the test, the team demonstrated a launch of an ALE configuration intended for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. The ALE air vehicle was ground launched from the canister, spread its wings, and accomplished stable flight. All test objectives were achieved, including low-altitude launch, wing and flight surface deployment, and stable air vehicle flight control.

«Leveraging the maturity of the Coyote design, we are well-positioned to offer the Army a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective air-launched effects air vehicle», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Our solution’s modular open systems architecture design means it can rapidly integrate new technologies to take on advanced threats and protect aircrews in future high-end fights».

The launch was the first in a series of increasingly complex, near-term flight tests that will advance the ALE air vehicle’s design, including payload integration, and further demonstrate its performance and maturity.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense is one of three companies awarded Other Transaction Authority contracts in August 2020 to produce ALE air vehicle designs. Raytheon Technologies businesses were also chosen for projects aimed at developing ALE mission systems and payloads.

Kazakh Atlas

The Republic of Kazakhstan has placed an order for two Airbus A400M Atlas aircraft and becomes the ninth operator together with Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Malaysia and Luxembourg.

A400M Atlas
The Republic of Kazakhstan orders two Airbus A400Ms

With delivery of the first aircraft scheduled in 2024, the contract includes a complete suite of maintenance and training support. Together with the agreement a Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed to collaborate on Maintenance and Overhaul services and with a first step of creating a local Airbus C295 maintenance centre.

«The A400M Atlas will become the cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s tactical and strategic airlifting operations», said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. «This new export contract brings the total number of A400M Atlas orders to 176 aircraft, a figure that we expect to increase in the near future. With more than 100 aircraft delivered and 100,000 flight hours in operation, the A400M Atlas has proven its capabilities, reaching a state of maturity that many potential customers were waiting for».

With the capacity to accommodate the country’s inventory and conduct military, civil and humanitarian missions, the A400M Atlas will enable Kazakhstan to quickly respond to any mission by rapidly deploying game-changing capabilities over long distances and enabling effective access to remote areas.

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km

 

Army reconnaissance

Northrop Grumman Corporation and Martin UAV (a Shield AI company) have completed successful flight testing of a V-BAT Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) with new features including GPS-denied navigation and target designation capabilities.

V-BAT
Northrop Grumman and Martin UAV conduct flight testing of Martin UAV’s V-BAT aircraft for the US Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System effort in Camp Grafton, North Dakota

«The enhanced V-BAT offers a near zero footprint, flexible Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capability that is based on a platform deployed operationally today, to address the U.S. Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) mission», said Kenn Todorov, sector vice president and general manager, global sustainment and modernization, Northrop Grumman. «The team brings more than 30 years’ experience in the production, delivery and sustainment of unmanned aircraft systems to support this critical mission today and into the future».

For FTUAS, the U.S. Army is seeking a rapidly deployable, GPS-denied navigation-capable, expeditionary VTOL system capable of persistent aerial reconnaissance for U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams, Special Forces, and Ranger battalions.

The offering is based on the industry leading Martin UAV V-BAT UAS. It is compact, lightweight, simple to operate, and can be set up, launched and recovered by a two-soldier team in confined environments. The V-BAT also is designed with sufficient payload capacity to carry a range of interchangeable payloads, including Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and Electronic Warfare (EW) payloads, depending on mission-specific requirements. Additionally, Shield AI’s recent acquisition of Martin UAV will enable rapid development of GPS-denied and autonomy capabilities for V-BAT through the future porting of Shield AI’s autonomy stack, Hivemind onto V-BAT.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Builder’s Trials

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) recently conducted Builder’s Trials.

USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002)
Future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) Conducts Builder’s Trials

Builder’s Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and the U.S. Navy to assess the ship’s systems.

«Trials provide an opportunity for the U.S. Navy and industry team to test the capability and readiness of the ship», Capt. Matthew Schroeder, DDG-1000 program manager, Program Executive (PEO) Ships. «DDG-1002 is a warship that is going to equip our fleet with next-generation capability and capacity for the high-end fight».

After completing Builder’s Trials and fully proving out the hull, mechanical, and electrical systems, the ship will complete combat systems installation and activation.

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is the third and final ship in the Zumwalt-class of guided missile destroyers and will provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities to the fleet.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length 610 feet/186 m
Beam 80.7 feet/24.6 m
Draft 27.6 feet/8.4 m
Displacement 15,761 long tonnes/16,014 metric tonnes
Speed 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Installed Power 104,600 hp/78 MW
Crew Size 158 – Includes Aviation Detachment

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) 11-17-2011 10-28-2013 10-15-2016 San Diego, California
USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) 05-23-2013 06-21-2016 01-26-2019 San Diego, California
USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) 01-30-2017 12-09-2018

 

Integration and Validation

Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered the Arrays at Commercial Timescales Integration and Validation (ACT-IV) system to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The system is based on an advanced digital Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) that completed multiple successful demonstrations and acceptance testing at Northrop Grumman test facilities.

ACT-IV
Northrop Grumman tests its Arrays at Commercial Timescales Integration and Validation (ACT-IV) digital AESA system for the AFRL and DARPA at the company radar range in Linthicum, Maryland (Source: Northrop Grumman)

«The development of the ACT-IV system is a breakthrough in AESA performance and marks an important milestone in the nation’s transition to digitally reprogrammable multifunction Radio Frequency (RF) systems», said William Phillips, director, multifunction systems, Northrop Grumman. «The new ACT-IV capabilities have the agility to defeat complex emerging threats and will be used to enhance the next generation of integrated circuits and AESAs that are currently in our digital AESA product pipeline».

ACT-IV is one of the first multifunction systems based on a digital AESA using the semiconductor devices developed on the DARPA Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program. By applying the flexibility of the digital AESA, the ACT-IV system can perform radar, electronic warfare and communication functions simultaneously by controlling a large number of independent digital transmit/receive channels. The agility of the digital AESA was demonstrated during multiple demonstrations at the Northrop Grumman test range and will enable future warfighters to quickly adapt to new threats, control the electromagnetic spectrum, and connect to tactical networks in support of distributed operations.

The ACT-IV system will be a foundational research asset for the Department of Defense’s multi-service research initiative for digital radars and multifunction systems. This initiative will support a community of researchers that are developing new algorithms and software to explore the possibilities of next generation digital AESAs for national security missions.

The algorithms, software and capabilities developed on ACT-IV will transition into next generation multifunction RF systems to support advanced development programs throughout the Department of Defense.

«This delivery is the culmination of the close collaboration between the teams at AFRL, DARPA and Northrop Grumman», said Doctor Bae-Ian Wu, ACT-IV project lead, Sensors Directorate, AFRL. «The ACT-IV system is being prepared for initial testing by the AFRL Sensors Directorate as part of a strategic investment to develop and test the technologies for multifunction digital phased array systems in an open-architecture environment for the larger DoD community».

Northrop Grumman is the industry leader in developing mission-capable, cost-efficient, open-architecture and multi-function radar and sensor systems to observe, orient and act across all domains – land, sea, air and space. They provide the joint forces with the intelligence they need to operate safely in today’s multi-domain operational environment.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.