Tag Archives: L3Harris Technologies

Jammer Low Band

The U.S. Navy awarded a $496 million Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract to L3Harris Technologies on December 18 to further the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) capability.

NGJ-LB
The Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234) and L3Harris Technologies test the company’s Next Generation Jammer Low Band demonstration unit in the Air Combat Environment Test and Evaluation Facility as part of the Demonstration of Existing Technologies contract that ended in August. PMA-234 announced December 18 that L3Harris Technologies as awarded the NGJ-LB Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract valued at approximately $496 million (U.S. Navy photo)

The contract supports the final design efforts and manufacturing of eight operational prototype pods and four test pods that will be used for various levels of testing and fleet employment to include airworthiness, functionality, and integration with and carriage on the EA-18G Growler host aircraft.

The contract award announcement from Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Program Office (PMA-234), the managing office for product acquisition, comes directly on the heels of NGJ-LB entering the EMD acquisition phase, often referred to as Milestone B (MS B).

«I’m proud of the hard work and determination of the Navy and industry team», said James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. «The teams work to reduce development risk, inform technology realities, and speed capabilities to the fleet was impressive. The efforts by all those involved enabled the Navy to move forward in a rapid manner to bring this new critical capability to bear for our warfighters, saving years in operational development».

Geurts signed the MS B Acquisition Decision Memorandum December 8, signifying his satisfaction with NGJ-LB’s proposed cost, schedule and performance intentions.

The program embarked on a Demonstration of Existing Technologies in late 2018, which informed technical maturity of capabilities. Originally the program was approved as a Middle Tier Acquisition Program due to the need for speed to fleet, but changes in policy mandated that the U.S. Navy rapidly move the program to a Major Defense Acquisition Program.

«The program did a great job of overcoming all the obstacles that this transition laid in front of them», said Geurts. «Really a herculean effort that I’m honestly proud to have been part of».

«NGJ-LB is the next step in the evolution of Airborne Electronic Attack that is needed to meet current and emerging electronic warfare gaps», said Rear Admiral Shane Gahagan, Program Executive Officer, Tactical Aircraft Programs. «The increased jamming capability that NGJ-LB brings to the warfighter is critical to sustaining the future missions of the Navy and other services».

NGJ-LB is an external jamming pod that will address advanced and emerging threats using the latest digital, software-based array technologies and will provide enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy air defense and ground communication systems.

«Our AEA arsenal continues to expand with the NGJ-LB capability», said Captain Michael Orr, PMA-234 program manager. «With the NGJ-LB EMD contract award, we continue our focus on delivering the warfighter an unsurpassed capability».

NGJ-LB is part of a larger NGJ weapon system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System pods in the low frequency spectrum currently used on the Growler. The weapons system is a joint program initiative with Australia.

No place to hide

Leonardo has recently proven the newly-expanded capabilities of its ULISSES acoustic Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) system in a demonstration off the coast of Italy. During the demo, Leonardo showed how the Firefly, AQS-18, dipping sonar from L3Harris Technologies worked in concert with the ULISSES processor to automatically locate simulated enemy submarines and alert the crew to their presence.

ULISSES
Designed to listen for submarines using advanced acoustic technology, Leonardo’s ULISSES ensures that the sea is no place to hide

The demonstration follows the successful integration of the Firefly dipping sonar with the ULISSES system. Firefly incorporates a high-powered active sonar which can dive down up to 200 m/656 feet below the sea surface and detect targets as far away as 20 miles/32 km while transmitting sonar and sonobuoy processing, audio and video to the shore via a wideband data link.

For the demo, the ULISSES and Firefly equipment was installed on a naval vessel while an Italian Navy NH-90 helicopter supported by dispensing sonobuoys during the trial. A key design feature of the ULISSES/Firefly system is its lightweight form factor, which can also be fitted to small, light helicopters for littoral operations. The integrated capabilities shown in the demo represent a solution to the growing requirement from armed forces to conduct ASW operations in blue and shallow waters.

Observers on-board the command ship were able to watch on an operator’s screen as ULISSES combined inputs from the Firefly dipping sonar with data from active and passive sonobuoys to automatically locate potential contacts and raise alerts. The ULISSES and Firefly systems offer ‘multistatic’ functionality where the processors collect and exploit data from up to 64 distributed dipping sonar and sonobuoy sensors, using the multiple sources of information to accurately triangulate the location of enemy submarines.

ULISSES was introduced to the market at Farnborough Air Show in 2018 and was successfully demonstrated in a live sea trial in November 2019. The system is now fully developed and talks are on-going with a range of potential launch customers.

The successor to Leonardo’s well-regarded OTS-90 acoustic system for Italian and Dutch NH-90 helicopters, ULISSES provides highly-advanced capabilities in an even more lightweight package. This makes it ideally suited to smaller helicopters and is designed as a form-fit replacement for the OTS-90, making it an attractive proposition for the retrofit market. The system is also suitable for fixed-wing aircraft, naval vessels and, without the dipping sonar, drone aircraft.

Surface Vehicle

L3Harris Technologies has received a contract from the U.S. Navy for the Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MUSV) program. This is the Navy’s first program for an unmanned surface vehicle to support the Navy’s Distributed Maritime Operations strategy.

The Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel to be developed by L3Harris is intended to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the fleet while maneuvering autonomously and complying with international Collision Regulations

The $35 million initial award is part of a $281 million program that includes a prototype and options for a total of nine MUSVs. L3Harris will integrate the company’s ASView autonomy technology into a purpose-built 195-foot/59.4 m commercially derived vehicle from a facility along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. The MUSV will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the fleet while maneuvering autonomously and complying with international Collision Regulations, even in operational environments.

«The MUSV program award reinforces our investments in the unmanned market and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bring mission-critical capabilities to our warfighters», said Sean Stackley, President, Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris. «L3Harris is continuing to develop a full range of highly reliable and affordable autonomous maritime capabilities to enable distributed maritime operations in support of the National Defense Strategy».

L3Harris will be the systems integrator and provide the mission autonomy and perception technology as the prime contractor on the program. The program team includes Gibbs & Cox and Incat Crowther who will provide the ship design and Swiftships will complete the construction of the vehicle.

L3Harris is a world leader in actively powered Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) systems, with over 115 USVs delivered worldwide. L3Harris’ USVs are actively serving the Navy, universities, research institutions and commercial businesses.

Navigation Technology

L3Harris Technologies is on track to begin building the U.S. Air Force’s first Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) after completing the program’s critical design review.

Signals readiness to begin building first Navigation Technology Satellite-3

L3Harris will integrate the program’s experimental payload with an ESPAStar Platform, planned for launch in 2022. The system is designed to augment space-based position, navigation and timing capabilities for warfighters.

The NTS-3 payload features a modular design and can adapt to support various mission needs. The experiment will demonstrate capabilities that can be accomplished through a stand-alone satellite constellation or as a hosted payload.

«Collaboration with our customers has enabled us to move rapidly through important milestones to design this experimental satellite», said Ed Zoiss, President, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. «Our goal is to deliver new signals to support rapidly evolving warfighter missions».

Less than a year after award, the company cleared the first development hurdle in half the time similar satellite programs take. The Space Enterprise Consortium selected L3Harris for the $84 million contract in 2018 as the prime system integrator to design, develop, integrate and test NTS-3. L3Harris is combining experimental antennas, flexible and secure signals, increased automation, and use of commercial command and control assets.

Designated as one of the Air Force’s first vanguard programs, NTS-3 will examine ways to improve the resiliency of the military’s positioning, navigation and timing capabilities. It will also develop key technologies relevant to the Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation, with the opportunity for insertion of these technologies into the GPS IIIF program. The program is a collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space and Missile Systems Center, U.S. Space Force, and Air Force Lifecycle Management Center.

L3Harris has more than 40 years of experience transmitting GPS navigation signals. The company’s technology has been onboard every GPS satellite ever launched.