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Norway Selects SIRFC for NH 90 Helicopters
Norway has selected ITT's AN/ALQ-211(V) suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures (SIRFC) for installation aboard the 14 NH 90 helicopters it is procuring for use by its Air Force (eight aircraft) and Navy (six aircraft). First flown aboard a US Army AH-64D battlefield attack helicopter during March 1999, SIRFIC is designed to provide high precision direction-finding, threat geolocation and electronic countermeasures response functions in an integrated package that weighs approximately 45 kg. The architecture is further intended to be able to fuse multispectral (radio frequency, laser and infra-red) threat data into a common, real-time display for situational awareness and assessment purposes, and to be able to data link such data to external users both in the air and on the ground. The system is in-flight reprogrammable and makes use of Military Standard (MIL-STD)-1553B and other high speed buses for system integration and communication with the host platform's man-machine interface. The architecture is further billed as incorporating built-in test, industry standard processors, application specific and monolithic microwave integrated circuitry and Standard Electronics Module-E (SEM-E) packaging.
Originally intended for installation aboard US AH-64D, Commanche, MH-47E, MH-60K and some UH-60 helicopters and the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor vehicle, planned SIRFIC installation within the American military currently (May 2002) appears to be restricted to special operations types such as the MH-47E and MH-60K. Here, it is perhaps worth noting that the architecture is compatible with the ITT High Power Remote Transmitter (HPTR) radio frequency countermeasures unit installed aboard such helicopters. In the planned Norwegian application, the initial procurement will encompass only some elements of the system, with others remaining as options.