US Navy Develops Threat Warning System for Rotary-Wing Aircraft
The US Navy is looking to improve protection of Navy and Marine Corps tilt-rotor aircraft and helicopters from missiles and rocket-propelled grenades through development of the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS). The JATAS will provide an infrared-based missile and laser warning and hostile fire indication defensive suite.
In particular, the JATAS will provide advanced missile warning capability; aircrew warning of laser-based weapon systems such as range finders, illuminators, and beam riders; and a hostile fire indication for small arms, rockets, and other threats. It will be initially tested on the MV-22B Osprey, but will eventually be available for all Navy and Marine Corps rotary-wing aircraft.
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) recently awarded 2 contracts worth a combined $65.3 million for the JATAS technology demonstration phase…
Key requirements for JATAS include a modular open-system architecture for plug-and-play capability and technology upgrade, improved performance in varying clutter environments with minimal false alarms, as well as the ability to provide an upgraded sensor suite under limited size, weight, power and cooling requirements needed to preserve the aircraft’s load carrying capability.
Another requirement for JATAS is hostile fire indication – the ability to detect, track and measure the proximity of rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.
According to NAVAIR, the JATAS will interface with the existing AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing system and a laser-based directed infrared countermeasure as part of electronic countermeasures response to attacking infrared missiles. The JATAS will be controlled by the aircraft’s computer with operator control via a multifunctional display or a separate control indicator. In most cases, command and control of the JATAS will be through the AN/APR-39A/B(V)2 radar signal detecting set.
Contracts and Key Events
Sept 29/09: The Naval Air Systems Command awarded a $33.1 million cost plus incentive fee contract (N00019-09-C-0099) to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control for the technology demonstration phase of the JATAS program. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will design, develop and demonstrate a JATAS prototype during a 16-month period of performance ending January 2011. Lockheed Martin is partnering with DRS Infrared Technologies in Dallas, TX, and Goodrich ISR Systems in Danbury, CT.
Sept 29/09: The Naval Air Systems Command awarded a $32.2 million cost plus incentive fee contract (N00019-09-C-0100) to ATK Integrated Systems for the technology demonstration phase of the JATAS program. Under the contract, ATK will design, develop and demonstrate a JATAS prototype during a 16-month period of performance ending January 2011. ATK’s team includes BAE Systems.