JED - December 2010 - (Page 15)

t he CIRCM RFP EXPECTED SOON The US Army could begin soliciting proposals next month for the Technology Development phase of its Common IR Countermeasures (CIRCM) program. Last month, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control threw its hat in the ring, becoming the fifth company to announce it would submit a bid for the program. Under the CIRCM program, the US Army wants to develop a laser-powered directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system that can be installed on all of its light, medium and heavy helicopters. Current DIRCM systems, such as the ALQ-212 from BAE Systems and the AAQ-24 from Northrop Grumman, are relatively large and can only be carried on heavy helicopters. In addition to seeking a small, lightweight CIRCM system, the Army wants the jammer to feature a modular open system architecture, a high reliability rate and a low life-cycle cost. Several industry teams are chasing the CIRCM program, which is valued in the billions of dollars. Lockheed Martin will lead a team that also includes DRS Technologies’ Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) group and Daylight Solutions. DRS Technologies will supply a new pointer-tracker assembly and Daylight Solutions will provide a mid-IR quantum cascade laser. Lockheed Martin’s Missions Systems and Sensors (MS2) business is part of another CIRCM bid led by ITT Electronic Systems. ITT has participated in a number of demonstrations over the past couple of years to validate the maturity its CIRCM solution. BAE Systems is offering its Boldstroke DIRCM system, which is part of a new family of Boldstroke aircraft survivability equipment for helicopters. Northrop Grumman and monitor news The Journal of Electronic Defense | December 2010 Selex Galileo have formed a team that will bid a solution based on the Eclipse pointer tracker and the Viper laser. Raytheon Missile Systems is also chasing the CIRCM TD program with its Scorpion DIRCM system. The company recently won a $5 million Defense Acquisition Challenge contract, with some of the work focusing on integration of a quantum cascade laser into the company’s Quiet Eyes Laser Turret Assembly. The growing list of bidders is a good sign for the CIRCM program. A decade ago, only two companies – BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman – were offering DIRCM solutions, and no company could have met the CIRCM requirement for a reliable, lightweight, open-architecture solution. For CIRCM bidders, the main question now is exactly when the Army will release the final RFP. The Army released a draft RFP earlier this year. A September amendment to the draft RFP stated that program officials would accept industry questions about the draft RFP until mid-December. Once that deadline passes, program officials could release the final RFP at any time. Most industry sources expect a final RFP in the next two months. However, one Pentagon source said Army and OSD acquisition officials may want to take one last hard look at the program before it gets the green light. The recent Congressional election has changed the balance of power in Congress and has added to growing pressure on the DOD to make cuts in acquisition programs. In addition, the Legislature is not expected to pass the FY2011 defense budget until the new Congress convenes in January. If the new Congress decides to reprioritize the budget or make significant cuts, the DOD could be forced to downsize, delay or cut the CIRCM program (among others) from the FY2011 budget. At the moment, the program has the support of the Army and such actions appear unlikely. However, in the context of the ongoing FY2011 budget deliberations, the CIRCM program is seen as vulnerable mainly because it is not yet on contract. – J. Knowles 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - December 2010

JED - December 2010
The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
EW Battle Management
Technology Survey: EW Simulators
2011 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - December 2010