C4ISR

Army, Navy fund Northrop for electronic warfare system

The Army and Navy are supplying funding to Northrop Grumman to develop and test an advanced radar and electronic warfare system.

Northrop will produce 18 pre-production units of the APR-39D(V)2 radar warning receiver/electronic warfare management system under a joint services contract, the company announced. Testing of hardware, software and platform integration is set for 2015.

The system can provide a variety of fixed-, rotary- and tilt-wing aircraft with 360-degree coverage, detecting and identifying types of threats, their bearing and lethality, Northrop said. It provides interactive management of all onboard sensors and countermeasures and can improve situational awareness.

"Our APR-39D(V)2 merges the baseline capability of previous systems with the Northrop Grumman digital receiver technology to provide advanced capability for today's and tomorrow's threat environment," said Janine Nyre, the company’s vice president of radio frequency combat information systems. "This lightweight system maintains interfaces with legacy systems and includes flexibility for future growth enhancements."

Versions of APR-39 systems have been installed on more than 7,000 domestic and international aircraft, including military aircraft, but occasionally undergo improvements. In 2012, for example, the Naval Air Systems Command awarded Northrop a $6.7 million contract to upgrade the Navy’s AN/APR-39 receivers, improving their digital signal processing ability.

The Pentagon has raised its emphasis on electronic warfare as part of the full range of military operations, issuing a directive in April that set goals for incorporating electronic warfare capabilities and assigning responsibilities for tasks such as acquisition, development, validation and oversight.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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