Navy Awards Contract for P-8A Poseidon Protection
BAE Systems illustration
The Navy recently awarded BAE systems a $4 million contract for a “quick turnaround” demonstration of a new radio frequency countermeasures system for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the company announced in January.
“Its primary mission is twofold. First, it’s to prevent an enemy radar from locking” onto U.S. aircraft, said Don Davidson, director of the advanced compact electronic warfare solutions product line at BAE Systems. However, “if they do get a radar lock and fire a missile, its ultimate purpose is to seduce the missile away from the platform.”
The system will be pod-mounted and include a small form factor jammer, a high-powered amplifier and BAE’s AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy.
The decoy has been used on board other Navy aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
“Right now on the P-8A, they don’t have any of the equipment required to support a self-protection system,” Davidson said in an interview.
“We had to put all that equipment within a pod that can be mounted on the aircraft without requiring anything on the aircraft itself.”
The company will design, build and integrate the systems at its Nashua, New Hampshire, facility. Following the integration, they will be tested for two months in early 2021 on the P-8A.
“This need for speed is even more prevalent today than it has been in years past,” Davidson said.
The Navy issued a white paper identifying concerns about emerging threats with regard to surface-to-air missiles and asked for a self-protection capability to be delivered quickly, he noted.
“Since we do this for a living, we had a lot of products and capabilities that we had developed for other applications that we were able to leverage,” he said. “We could take these existing capabilities, integrate them together — they’re small enough to fit in this pod — and we could bring this capability to bear in what has essentially been five months.”
The completed pod was slated to be delivered at the end of January, he said.
Topics: Navy News