EADS Wins US Radar Contract
T he European Aeronautic, Defence and Space (EADS) Co.'s Ulm, Germany-based Airborne Systems unit has been awarded a US$11.9 M contract by the US Navy (USN) that covers the supply of components for its AN/APG-65 radar programme. EADS' connection with APG-65 is based on the former DaimlerChrysler Aerospace's licence production of the radar for use in the Luftwaffe's (German Air Force) F-4 Phantom upgrade programme that began during 1987. Work on the USN contract is expected to be completed during 2002.
R&S Signs with Honeywell on Joint Radio Marketing Venture
G erman contractor Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) has entered into a joint marketing agreement with US contractor Honeywell that covers the promotion of its M3AR (series 6000) military radio in the North American market. R&S describes the Multiband, Multimode, Multirole Airborne Radio (M3AR) as a software-driven device that operates in the 30 to 40 MHz frequency range and can transmit digitised voice and data at highdata rates. The equipment is further described as lightweight and available in cockpit or separately controlled configurations. Equipment control is by means of an MIL-STD bus.
South African Contractor Re-brands
S tarting 1 September, South African defence electronics contractor GST was expected to trade as Grintek EWATION following Grintek's agreement with the former DaimlerChrysler Aerospace with regard to the merging of their respective ground-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications jamming business lines. Now a part of EADS, DaimlerChrysler is understood to have hived off its ground-based electronic warfare (EW) line into the new Ewation GmbH EADS subsidiary. As currently structured, Ewation GmbH has a staff of 500, and the combined Ewation/Grintek EWATION product line (which includes power amplifiers and HF/VHF communications jammers as well as SIGINT equipment) will be internationally trademarked as MRCMR (Monitoring, Reconnaissance, Countermeasures) products.
Australia Buys SIRFC
A s part of the US-Australian government-to-government Advanced Integrated Aircraft Survivability Technology (AIAST) programme, Australia has procured an example of ITT's AN/ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC) with which to conduct ongoing systems-related, co-operative research, development and engineering with the US Army. ALQ-211 was selected for AIAST because it represents a next-generation modular, open architecture, integrated EW system. As part of the effort, a digital model of SIRFC has already been integrated into a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter simulator by the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organisation. The integrated model allows pilots and engineers to work with SIRFC technology in the areas of sensor fusion, threat warning, situational awareness and electronic countermeasures. Launched during 1998, AIAST is expected to run until 2004.
UK Looks for New Fast Jet IMPC
T he UK's Ministry of Defence has issued a requirement for a new fast jet defensive aids suite (DAS) package (the Integrated Multi-Platform Countermeasures (IMPC) system) based on the Royal Air Force's (RAF) recent operational experience in the Balkans and the Persian Gulf. Analysts have suggested that a key driver in the IMPC programme is the service's switch from predominantly low level operations to those at medium altitude. Expressions of interest in the programme were due by 29 September, with the tight time scale reflecting the urgency being placed on the effort and the likelihood of any IMPC solution selected being based on off-the-shelf equipment. The new DAS will include on- and off-board countermeasures (possibly including towed active decoys) and a missile approach warner.
As its name suggests, IMPC will be applicable to a number of airframes (effectively, the RAF's Tornado, Harrier and, possibly, Jaguar strike aircraft) and is, therefore, required to be modular to facilitate mission-specific fits and maximum utilisation of common system elements. Likely bidders include BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and Thomson Racal Defence. The RAF's strike Tornados are currently fitted with the Skyshadow radar jamming pod, a BAE Systems radar homing and warning receiver, and a BOZ 100 series countermeasures dispensing system (CMDS) pod; its Harriers are fitted with a BAE Systems Zeus integrated radar jamming and warning system together with a CMDS. The Jaguar light strike aircraft carries the Phimat CMDS pod and an updated variant of the former Westinghouse ALQ-101(V) radar jammer.
W1 Communications Satellite Set for September Launch
T he European Telecommunications Satellite (EUTELSAT) Organisation's W1 fixed and broadcast communications satellite was scheduled to be launched aboard an Ariane rocket on 6 September. Developed by Europe's multinational Astrium space conglomerate, W1 has a launch mass of 3250 kg and is equipped with a payload comprising 28 transponders that operate in the 10.95 to 11.2 GHz and 11.45 to 11.7 GHz frequency bands. Transponder applications include business communications, Internet-based services and television transmission services, and the devices can be switched between fixed (up to 20 transponders) and steerable (up to 12) coverage. The fixed-coverage (termed fixed widebeam) footprint takes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from a 10º East orbital location. Available channel bandwidths are 40 MHz (four transponders), 54 MHz (eight), 62 MHz (four) and 72 MHz (12), and the vehicle utilises a 32 m solar array that will still offer DC spacecraft power of 7 kW at the end of the satellite's 12-year design life. The W1 bus is based on a variant of Astrium's EUROSTAR design, 31 examples of which have been procured to date.
HAI Encouraged to Develop EW Capability
G reek aerospace contractor Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI) is being encouraged to develop an EW capability following the Greek Ministry of Defence's decision to procure a DAS for its F-16 Block 50 Plus aircraft from national sources rather than from the international defence industry. Prior to this decision, Thomson-CSF, Elisra and Raytheon were known to have been bidding for the $200 M programme. Alongside this effort, HAI is also involved in the upgrading of 10 existing Greek Mirage 2000 combat aircraft to the Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 standard. Here, the national contractor will undertake the necessary work, which involves modifications to both the aircraft's radar and DAS. Sources suggest that the EW equipment to be installed may incorporate elements from the equipment package Thomson-CSF, Matra BAe Dynamics France and Italian contractor Elettronica have developed for the Mirage 2000-9 aircraft being supplied to the United Arab Emirates. Existing Greek Mirage 2000s are fitted with a variant of the Thomson-CSF/Matra BAe Dynamics Integrated Countermeasures Suite. *