On the modern battlefield, the use of electronic warfare (EW) is essential to deceiving and jamming enemy radar. As part of a program known as Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC), BAE Systems will develop technology for a next-generation EW algorithm suite that will enable existing EW systems to operate against emerging radar threats, providing an essential capability to achieve air dominance. The company was awarded phases 1A and 1B of a three-phase, $34.9 million five-year effort.

“This technology will provide a revolutionary capability to EW systems on U.S. military airborne platforms to counter adaptive radar threats and significantly improve survivability,” said Joshua Niedzwiecki, director of strategic development at BAE Systems. “To rapidly detect and characterize a never-before-seen radar threat, synthesize an electronic countermeasure, and then assess effectiveness in a tactically relevant timeframe is a major battlefield advantage.”

Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the ARC program will leverage advances in signal processing and machine learning to develop intelligent algorithms that detect and counter emerging adaptive radar threats. Particular emphasis will be on countering never-before-seen threats with waveform characteristics and behaviours that are unknown. By focusing on algorithms, the ARC program will develop technology that can be implemented as a software upgrade to a wide range of existing and emerging EW systems, providing a major capability enhancement without the need for costly hardware upgrades.

In collaboration with Dynetics, Inc. and other industry research organizations, BAE Systems is planning to develop and demonstrate a best-of-breed capability in a series of increasingly complex government evaluations. Final implementation of the ARC program is projected to occur by 2018, with demonstrations in live flight tests on an existing EW system.