BAE Systems received a $4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to conduct a quick-turnaround demonstration of a new radio frequency countermeasure (RFCM) system for the P-8A Poseidon. The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation U.S. Navy aircraft. The rapid response is the result of collaboration among small focus teams who developed an innovative approach to the design and fabrication of the system’s mechanical parts. As a result, BAE Systems will design, build, integrate, and ship the RFCM system in approximately five months, followed by two months of flight testing on the P-8A Poseidon platform. Testing will begin early in 2021. Work on the contract will be performed at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.
“The ability to meet this unprecedented response time underscores our agility, focus on meeting customer needs, and our ultimate goal of protecting our warfighters,” said Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems. “A process that used to take 18 to 24 months has been scaled to five or six months, which is remarkable, as is deploying this new self-protection capability.”
The RFCM system consists of a small form factor jammer, a high-powered amplifier and the AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD). BAE Systems’ AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy (FOTD) is a highly advanced RF self-protection jammer that is proven to be highly-effective against RF missile threats to protect any fixed-wing aircraft, from jet fighters to bombers to transports and more. Fiber-optic towed decoy jams signals with a high-powered response from off-board the aircraft at the end of the towline. And unlike traditional straight-through repeaters which are only effective versus continuous wave (CW) threats, our fiber-optic towed decoy works in concert with the aircraft’s onboard electronic warfare (EW) system to use a variety of countermeasure techniques to suppress, deflect, and seduce pulsed and CW RF threats.
In the battlespace, pilots and crew need to know with certainty that they can depend on their countermeasures system. The AN/ALE-55 FOTD produces highly-reliable jamming, demonstrating stable flight under a wide altitude and speed envelope. Thousands of BAE Systems’ AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy systems have been delivered. Fully integrated with the onboard self-protection system of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the AN/ALE-55 is available to every branch of the U.S. military and to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programs for integration on additional fixed-wing aircraft. As a global leader in the electronic countermeasures, BAE Systems is under contract to the U.S. Navy to develop our next-generation Dual Band Decoy (DBD), which expands on our proven ability to help pilots carry out their missions, especially in highly-contested airspace.