International Report

Horizon EWS Moves Forward

The electronic warfare system (EWS) slated for installation aboard the trinational (Italy, France and the UK) Horizon common new-generation frigate (CNGF) has moved a step closer to realisation with the award (by the programme’s Joint Project Office) of a £4.5 M project definition study contract to the team of Racal Thorn Defence (UK and contract prime), Alenia Difesa (Italy) and CS Defense (France). The CNGF is scheduled to enter service in 2010 and replace the UK’s type 42 destroyers and air-defence-tasked frigates within the French and Italian navies. The Horizon EWS capability centres on a fully integrated common core package comprising electronic support measures, active jamming and control subsystems. This core element will be supported by decoy launching systems that will be integrated into the overall suite and selected on a national basis.

TMD Launches Instrumentation TWTAs

UK contractor Thorn Microwave Devices (TMD) has launched a new series of instrumentation traveling-wave-tube amplifiers (TWTA) that reportedly offer major improvements in volume, weight and portability over existing designs. Intended for electromagnetic compatibility, radar, electronic warfare, laboratory and medical applications, the PTC series TWTAs cover the 1 to 18 GHz frequency range in three 19-inch rack-mounted units. Individual unit weight is 25 kg (typ) and minimum power output is 200 W CW or 1 kW pulsed. The series offers CW/pulsed units featuring beam-blanking techniques and higher frequency units running up to 40 GHz with a typical CW power output of 80 W.

Thomson Launches Airborne ESM

French contractor Thomson-CSF Radars & Contre-Measures has launched the SACRE lightweight airborne electronic support measures (ESM) system. Covering the E- to K-band (2 to 40 GHz) frequency range (with extensions for the 0.5 to 2 GHz C-/D-band), SACRE is a 1.15 m long, externally mounted pod housing that carries a 25 kg electronic payload. The package is equipped with a Global Positioning System receiver, a programming module, two interferometry arrays, and fore and aft ambiguity suppression arrays.

System features include programmable processing, system modularity, a wide instantaneous bandwidth and the ability to generate both targeting and electronic intelligence data. The system is designed primarily for helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicle applications.

Philips Launches Radar Application Power Transistors

Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors has developed a series of silicon bipolar microwave power transistors for use in E-/F-band (2 to 4 GHz) radar applications. The BLS2731 series includes four devices with minimum pulse power-handling capabilities of 10, 20, 50 and 110 W. The 110 W model incorporates a 400 MHz bandwidth capable of covering the entire 2.7 to 3.1 GHz frequency range. The 10, 20 and 50 W devices have a typical power gain of 8 dB and a typical collector efficiency of 40 percent over the same frequency range. The 110 W device features a typical power gain of > 7 dB and a typical collector efficiency of > 35 percent. All devices in the series are housed in two lead rectangular flange packages and feature internal input/output matching networks, integral emitter ballasting resistors and gold metallisations for durability and reliability. As scheduled currently, Philips intends to begin volume production of the BLS2731 series during the second quarter of this year.

ESSD to Upgrade Bosnian and Egyptian ATC Systems

US contractor Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Sensors and Systems Division (ESSD) has been selected by both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Egypt to upgrade their respective national air traffic control (ATC) systems. ESSD is scheduled to supply the Bosnian authorities with a stand-alone monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR) with a range of 474 km, an enroute ATC control centre facility, and the necessary VHF (30 to 300 MHz) and microwave communications links. The MSSR will operate from a remote site and will be upgradable to a full-mode S capability while the ATC control centre is to be equipped with the company’s model AMS-2100 automated airspace management and display system. The facility will provide multiple radar data tracking and integrated flight-plan processing. Park Air Electronics, Northrop Grumman’s UK subsidiary, is providing the programme’s VHF communications equipment, which features rapid delivery and an integral upgrade capability.

The Egyptian programme represents the first phase of a planned 10-year, $28 M infrastructure upgrade of the country’s civil ATC system. This initial effort involves the provision of turnkey approach and terminal control packages for the international gateway airports at Luxor, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheik. The package configuration being supplied includes ESSD’s model ASR-12 primary surveillance radar; MSSR provision, display and processing subsystems; and communications equipment.

Teaming Agreements Highlight Expanding International AEW&C Market

Swedish/Brazilian and Russian/Israeli contractor teams have announced collaborative agreements aimed at capitalising on the growing international market for airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platforms. Brazilian airframe contractor EMBRAER has teamed with Swedish electronics contractor Ericsson Microwave Systems to offer an AEW&C variant of its model EMB-145 turbofan-powered regional airliner equipped with Ericsson’s Erieye series E-/F-band (2 to 4 GHz) phased-array surveillance radar. This effort builds on the Erieye-equipped EMB-145 airliners, which are being supplied to Brazil’s Sistema de Vigilancia da Amazonia (SIVAM) programme. The SIVAM programme was developed to provide an effective monitoring capability for the control of illegal activity throughout the Amazon basin.

Under the teaming arrangement, EMBRAER will act as systems integrator and supply customers with complete AEW&C systems. EMBRAER reports that an EMB-145/Erieye package will retail at less than half the price of AEW&C aircraft available currently while matching AEW&C aircraft detection performance. Market analysis by EMBRAER suggests at least 10 potential customers for such a system within Europe, Asia and South America. Converting the model EMB-145 into an AEW&C platform involves strengthening its fuselage structure so it can carry the Erieye’s antenna housing, installing multiple operator stations and upgrading the aircraft’s electrical power supply.

The Russian/Israeli effort entails mating a variant of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) subsidiary Elta Electronics’ model EL/M-2075 phased-array radar with the Beriev model A-50 (a role-dedicated variant of the Ilyushin model Il-76 transport aircraft) and involves the Russian Federation’s Rosvoorouzhenie arms export agency, the Taganrog Aviation Complex and IAI. Initially, the deal involves constructing and testing a prototype model over a three-year period. As outlined currently, this initial effort will consist of a three-phase structure in which Taganrog will supply a suitably modified model A-50 aircraft and will train Israeli pilots to fly it. In phase two, the Elta radar will be installed followed by the installation of Russian/Israeli mission equipment at Taganrog. Rosvoorouzhenie is scheduled to market the platform.