JED - April 2011 - (Page 15)

t he USAF RELEASES RFP FOR EA POD UPGRADE The US Air Force has issued the final request for proposals (RFP) for its Electronic Attack Pod Upgrade Program (EA PUP), a long-overdue effort to integrate digital receiver and digital RF memory (DRFM) capabilities into either the AN/ ALQ-131(V) or the AN/ALQ-184(V) jamming pods, which will enable better performance against modern RF threats. The program is significant not only because of the upgrade itself, but because the Air Force also is expected to “neck down” to only one type of EA pod – either the ALQ-131 or the ALQ-184 – for its F-16 and A-10 aircraft. The upgrade program begins with an engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of up to 27 months. At or before the 22-month mark of EMD, the contractor will deliver four prototype pod upgrades. An additional 42 upgrade kits could be ordered during low-rate initial production, with deliveries scheduled within 12 months. Full-rate production comprises five lots of up to 90 pods each, and program officials have noted that they could exercise some of these production options concurrently, depending on user needs. If all options are exercised, the program could see up to 500 EA pods upgraded, as well as manufacturing 64 spares. In addition, the program includes upgrades to the intermediate-level test equipment – the AN/ALM-233 tester for the ALQ-184 or the AN/ALM-256 tester for the ALQ131 – used to maintain the EA pods. Although the EA PUP is an open competition, Raytheon (manufacturer of the ALQ-184) and Northrop Grumman (manufacturer of the ALQ-131) are seen as the two primary contenders because of their detailed knowledge of their respective EA pods. ITT, which manufactures the AIDEWS pod, could submit a bid as well. Other EW companies, especially DRFM manufacturers, may seek monitor news teaming arrangements with one of the primary bidders. The program is significant for the Air Force because it buys much-needed EW capability for its legacy aircraft, which are seeing extended front-line service resulting from delays in the F-35 production schedule. The EA PUP is also important for the EW industry, because it represents significant revenue in a US fighter aircraft market with limited competitive opportunities. It will also have an impact on Foreign Military Sale (FMS) customers, even though the EA PUP RFP does not include FMS pods. Taiwan’s Air Force operates the ALQ-184 pod, and the ALQ-131 (Blocks I and II) is in service with Bahrain, Belgium, Egypt, Japan, The Netherlands and Portugal. Many of these countries are seeking receiver and DRFM iver upgrades to their pods, and the EA PUP is d likely to be the most affordable means of extending the life of their pods. EA PUP bids are due on April 11. Air Force program officials expect to award a contract by December 15. – J. Knowles The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2011 US ARMY LAUNCHING SIGINT UAV PROGRAM The US Army issued a request for information (RFI) for its planned Tactical Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Payload (TSP) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) program in February seeking industry comments on its draft TSP request for proposals (RFP). The Army held an industry day on March 15 to provide feedback on the industry comments. Release of the final RFP is imminent; the Army plans to select a single TSP contractor p g in late September. 1 15 GROWLER MAKES COMBAT DEBUT MBAT M The US Navy’s new E EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft flew in combat for the fl lew first time on March 20, supporting Operation 0, Odyssey Dawn air strikes against Libyan ground ik kes forces and air defenses by Marine Corps Harrier jump jets from the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge (LHD-3). The Scorpions of VAQ-132 flew out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, and jammed Libyan communications and radars. A five-aircraft land-based expeditionary squadron, VAQ-132 was the first Growler squadron to become operational in September 2009 and deployed overseas for the first time to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, last November. – JED Staff photo credit: Zord Gábor László

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2011

JED - April 2011
Table of Contents
The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Latin American EW
The US IR Decoy Industry: Planning for a Viable Future
AOC/Shephard EW 2011 Preview
Book Review
EW 101
AOC News
AOC Industry and Institute/University Members
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2011