Cyber Defense

Navy putting $49.8M into upgrading its EW test center

In another example of the military’s growing focus on electronic warfare, the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division has awarded AAI Corp. a $49.8 million contract for test environment system upgrades to the division’s Electronic Combat Simulation and Evaluation Laboratories.

The contract covers five years with work to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., and is expected to be completed by January 2021.

The air weapons division, based at China Lake., Calif., provides research, development, test and evaluation, and other services for a variety of weapons systems, from guided missiles to electronic warfare. The Electronic Combat Simulation and Evaluation Laboratories, co-located at China Lake and Point Mugu, Calif., test active and passive EW systems and related embedded software.

Among the jobs performed at the labs are advanced simulations that use a scenario-control computer that lends flight dynamics that simulate the electromagnetic environment in actual combat allowing the EW system to be “flown” in a realistic lab setting.

The contract award to AAI is far from the only effort into EW by the military, which has put a new emphasis on the issue. Just in December, military services released at least four solicitations for both offensive and defensive operations.

More recently, the Naval Research Laboratory said it is looking for defensive technologies for ships and other maritime assets, especially with regard to radio frequency and electro-optical/infrared techniques. The Air Force also is looking for ways to use high-power electromagnetic technology to complement and enhance cyber and electronic warfare concepts.

About the Author

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

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