JED - April 2009 - (Page 36)

By Dr. David L. Rockwell 36 | April 2009 T The Journal of Electronic Defense he coming months are a crucial period for the manned signals intelligence (SIGINT) market, with major upgrades in the works and all three services planning the next generation of their primary intelligence platforms. The US Army has contracted for a total SIGINT system replacement for its primary Guardrail reconnaissance aircraft, and also is back on track with development plans for the next generation Aerial Common Sensor (ACS), due to enter service after the middle of the next decade. The Navy is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on upgrades for its EP-3E Aries II SIGINT aircraft fleet, with somewhat less definite plans for a next generation system, the EP-X. Finally, despite Global Hawk and its Airborne SIGINT Payload (ASIP), the US Air Force’s (USAF) RC-135 series (Rivet Joint, Cobra Ball and Combat Sent) not only will continue to receive major funding and continuing upgrades, but the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) may even buy three new aircraft to become its own primary airborne SIGINT system. Just as many hope for a new surge of intelligence in world politics over the next decade, the largest air forces will be doing their best to provide airmen with better electronic intelligence (ELINT). The manned SIGINT market has been overshadowed by the rapid growth of the unmanned SIGINT market over the past several years (see “UAVs: Growing Fast beyond COMINT” on Page 42). The UAV SIGINT market will grow from $457 million in FY09 to $1.2 billion in FY18, but the manned airborne SIGINT market will remain larger in total funding every year for at least the next decade. ARMY: GUARDRAIL & ARL The AN/USD-9(V) Guardrail has been the US Army’s primary airborne SIGINT program since the 1970s. It is based on Raytheon’s Beech RC-12 aircraft, with systems integration by the ESL business unit of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (Sacramento, CA). Production of new Guardrail aircraft ended in 2000, but the Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS) has seen a number of system upgrades and improvements. More than 50 Guardrail aircraft have been built, with about 45 still in service. The Guardrail’s SIGINT payload is remotely controlled, with data processed by ground operators in the Guardrail Ground Baseline (GGB) ground station. The Army’s earlier Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) also is a militarized commercial aircraft, this time based on RDT&E+Procurement (FY09 $ Millions) Guardrail & ARL ACS EP-3E EP-X RC-135 Other Total FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 Total (FY09-18) 2,676 2,034 1,462 752 1,690 2,643 11,257 172 92 142 36 158 209 809 184 140 236 40 158 215 973 216 200 148 54 146 258 1,022 298 160 146 44 212 256 1,116 392 182 122 46 212 255 1,209 386 180 114 98 194 280 1,252 382 210 128 102 154 290 1,266 378 215 132 110 138 292 1,265 155 280 138 108 148 302 1,131 113 375 156 114 170 286 1,214

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2009

JED - April 2009
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Lethal SEAD
Airborne SIGINT Forecast
RF Power Sources for IED Jammers
Roost Profile
EW 101
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2009