JED - March 2012 - (Page 24)

w o r l d report UAT MOD 2 DIGITAL RESM DEPLOYED ON TYPE 45 DESTROYER An upgraded Outfit UAT radar electronic support measures (RESM) system incorporating wideband digital receiver technology has entered UK Royal Navy (RN) service on board HMS Daring, the first of the RN’s six new Type 45 destroyers. Evolved from the RN’s in-service Outfit UAT Mod 1 RESM suite, the new Mod 2 system – developed by Thales UK – pulls through technology and techniques previously matured by Thales and the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD’s) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) under the Daphne and DART (Digital Advanced Receiver Technology) research programs. It also marks the first step along a long-term RESM equipment strategy and technology roadmap intended to meet requirements identified by the MOD’s Above Water Capability branch out to 2020-25. Outfit UAT Mod 2 introduces a new “digital antenna,” based on direct RF sampling and wideband digital receiver technology, which delivers substantial improvements in sensitivity, direction finding and parameter measurement in dense electromagnetic environments. Thales says that the fact that the bulk of receiver functionality is implemented as software and firmware algorithms means the system is more easily upgraded, allowing new signal analysis functionality to be inserted to maintain performance and pace emerging threats. In addition, the move to a digital front end is also seen to offer the potential for significant cost reductions in both acquisition and support. This is achieved through the elimination of the analog microwave components and specialist subsystems traditionally associated with the RF receiver chain, and the adoption of COTS components. Thales UK’s Electronic Combat Systems unit, part of the group’s Defence Mission Systems business, was in June 2005 contracted to build the original Daphne demonstrator for laboratory and shore-based testing of a next-generation RESM based on wideband digital receiver technology performing front-end sampling and analog-to-digital conversion at the masthead. This testbed system was delivered to Dstl’s Portsdown West site overlooking the Solent in 2009 and, according to Dstl, has subsequently demonstrated “very significant performance benefits” compared with the in-service UAT Mod 1 system. The follow-on DART programs at Thales extend the capability of the digital receiver hardware and associated high-direction-of-arrival accuracy phase comparison antenna originally designed as part of the Daphne demonstrator. The hardware was also ruggedized for sea trials. Thales UK has subsequently executed an accelerated development, integration and test program to transition the UAT Mod 2 technology from the demonstrator phase through to platform acceptance in around 19 months. According to the company, the first UAT Mod 2 ship system completed factory acceptance in November 2011, with installation, setting-to-work and harbor acceptance tests on board Daring conducted at Portsmouth Naval Base in December 2011. Sea trials were completed at the start of January 2012, with Daring sailing on January 11 to commence a seven-month maiden deployment east of Suez. A second Outfit UAT Mod 2 system, scheduled to equip HMS Diamond, has completed factory acceptance testing. Diamond, the third of the RN’s Type 45 destroyers, is due to deploy for the first time later in 2012. – R. Scott IN BRIEF 24 The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2012 ❍ Thales Aerospace (Elancourt, France) has won a contract from the French MOD’s Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) to adapt Analyseur de Signaux TACtiques (ASTAC) ELINT pods for use on Armée de l’air (French Air Force) Mirage 2000D aircraft. The 400-kg, Bto K-band ASTAC pods are currently fitted to the Air Force’s Mirage F.1CR aircraft, which are due to retire from service in the 2013-2014 timeframe. ❍ According to several press reports, officials from Australia’s Department of Defence (DOD) have indicated that the Australian Government will soon make a decision to move forward with plans to buy ALQ-218 ESM systems for at least six of the Royal Australian Air Force’s new F/A-18F Super Hornets. The RAAF bought 24 Super Hornets, and 12 were configured to receive the ALQ218, as well as associated hardware and software, in the so-called Growler Lite configuration. ❍ In other news from Down Under, BAE Systems Australia received an AUS$19 million contract from the Australian DOD’s Defence Materiel Organisation to provide “through-life support” for the Nulka anti-ship missile decoy for the next six years. The contract includes options that would extend Nulka support at ship and shore facilities for a further 18 years. The company also received a AUS$43 million contract from Boeing for maintenance, engineering and support services for the ESM and EW self-protection systems on the RAAF’s Wedgetail AEW aircraft. ❍ Niitek, Inc. (Dulles, VA), a subsidiary of Chemring plc, has signed a collaboration agreement with MBDA Italia (Rome, Italy) to work together on vehicle-mounted ground penetrating radar systems. One aspect of the partnership calls for Niitek to deliver GPR kits to MBDA for integration on the latter’s Vehicle Pushed Detection Trailers. a http://www.naylornetwork.com/jed-nxt2/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2012

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Letters
Washington Report
World Report
US Rotorcraft EW Programs
Technology Survey: DRFMs for EW Applications
Book Review
EW 101
AOC News
2012 AOC Industry/Institute/ University Member Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - March 2012

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